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Survey of over 1,000 adults shows lifelong expectation of debt

Most people in Massachusetts live with some form of debt, whether it be from credit card bills or home loans. A survey of 1,114 people across the nation conducted by CreditCards.com produced a pessimistic view about people's expectations of ever escaping debt. Large majorities of respondents across all age groups expected to never achieve a debt-free life.

Among Millennials, 65 percent believed that they would never pay off debts or could not imagine when it might happen. A slightly larger number of Generation X members, 68 percent, accepted the likelihood of always being in debt. Baby Boomers showed even less confidence as 70 percent doubted their abilities to overcome debt. Within the Silent Generation, which represents people over age 72 in this survey, 83 percent anticipated dying in debt.

People who had the typical debts, such as student loans, car payments, credit cards and home loans, actually expressed more optimism about paying off debts than people with medical debts who use payday loan services. Despite the survey's dismal findings, some people did report that they foresaw a debt-free future. On average, these people felt they would overcome debt in nine years.

A person feeling the pressure from increasing financial burdens could explore the possibility of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This action might lead to a fresh financial start if a court approves a new payment plan. The services of an attorney could guide someone through the court filings necessary to initiate a bankruptcy. Legal counsel might identify protected assets, such as a primary residence, that could be protected while the debtor prepares a proposal for repaying creditors.

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