Americans Need To adjust Their Debt Perspective
While overall the debt load is increasing, the amount of credit card debt is actually on the decline, as revealed by numbers released by the Federal Reserve. Nationwide the current amount of credit card debt is $792 billion, down from $972 billion in 2008. This indicates a decline of 18%.
This seems to mean that although consumers are using their credit cards, they are defaulting on their payments less now than in the past, making the effort to get their monthly payments into card issuers on time.
However, should current trends continue unaltered, consumers in the United States alone are forecast to accumulate $54 billion more debt than in 2010.
It seems that it’s the attitude that Americans have towards carrying debt that is the problem.
As writer Brian Hampel aptly puts it in an article he penned for the website the Kansas State Collegiate:
“Debt is essentially financial procrastination, akin to saying, ‘I’ll pay for it later.’”
Although the country’s recent recession was a much-needed reality check for many, the way goods and services are marked through the media to the general public creates a “must-have-it” atmosphere that encourages people to spend, often beyond their means.
When people grow too comfortable paying for things with money that does not belong to them via a loan or a credit card, it’s easy for them to be somewhat detached from the actual amount they are spending.
Because post-secondary education costs are so high, many students are forced to borrow a considerable amount of money to pay for their college education, thus embarking upon their adult life already deeply in debt. This can lead to young adults living off their credit cards in order to make ends meet and digging themselves deeper and deeper into debt in the meantime.
Entire generations are at risk of starting off on the wrong Kom financial foot. If someone feels hopelessly in debt anyway, they may think “what’s the harm in accruing a little more?”
Brian Hampel agrees. As he wrote for the Collegiate.com,
“We spend most of our lives owing money to people or institutions, and I think that’s the basic reason that it feels so easy and natural to borrow more.”
We Americans need to be more future-minded. This means reducing, reusing and recycling to lessen the impact of our carbon footprints as well as restructuring our spending to do away with our debt trail.
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