Mintel, one of the leading companies in market intelligence, has recently carried out a survey to determine how many Americans are facing debt trouble. The results of the survey painted a grim financial picture—they showed that more than 30% of Americans have had difficulty in paying their debts for the last couple of years. Among these adults, less than 40% have tried to relieve their debt by approaching the lender or seeking help from a debt consolidation company.
The survey results also demonstrated how certain demographics incurred more debt over others. For instance, female consumers tend to have more debt struggles than men. The age bracket of consumers who were facing debt also averaged between the ages 25 and 44. It was also discovered that adults who live in urban areas were at more risk of acquiring debt than those who live in the suburbs.
Susan Menke, Mintel’s behavioral economist comments on the results of the survey.
She says the fact that large number of Americans in debt is not all that surprising given the economic crisis that the country is facing today. What is surprising, though, is that survey respondents who were unemployed reported fewer debt problems than those who are employed. Menke claims that this could be due to a couple of reasons. It could be because unemployed individuals spent less and, therefore, took out fewer loans, or it could be because they have seized to pay their debts altogether.
Almost half the respondents stated that they sought out help for their debt. Most of these respondents directly contacted their credit card companies or mortgage lenders. On the other hand, over a third of the respondents sought help from credit counseling organizations and credit consolidation companies.
The results also showed how most respondents sought assistance for credit card debt but would prefer to pay off their mortgage loans over other debts.