A swipe here, a swipe there—credit card spending can easily get out of hand, and when you’re saddled with credit card debt, the road toward financial freedom can seem endless.
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In February, Americans owed 8 billion in revolving debt (almost all in the form of credit card debt).
In the Credit poll, conducted March 28-30 by Gf K Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, 34 percent of respondents said they carry a balance, and 15 percent reported not having any credit cards.
Their greater openness may be because younger Americans grew up with texting, blogging, social media and other tools that encourage users to provide a certain amount of personal information, so they're more comfortable with topics once considered private, Solomon said.
"In my experience, young people today will discuss anything," he said. The concept of privacy as I know it as a baby boomer, the notion that there is a private self and a core of information that's not disclosed, really doesn't exist anymore." In addition, Solomon notes, many Americans age 18 to 24 have never known what it's like to not be in debt, and most of their peers are also in debt.
Not only are they unwilling to talk about their debt with strangers, a growing number are hiding financial problems from their spouses, family members and friends, says Michael Mc Auliffe, president of Family Credit Management, a Chicago-based nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency. "Clients would tell us they were spending 0 to go out on a Saturday night because they didn't want to tell their friends what was going on," Mc Auliffe says.
Other survey results Other notable findings from the poll include: Talking about your debt Credit counselors and financial experts say it's important to talk about your debt, if not with strangers, then with a spouse or friend.
"If you can't find someone to talk to, go to a nonprofit credit counseling agency that can take an objective look at your situation and offer advice on solutions," Mc Clary said.
According to the old saying, you shouldn't talk about religion or politics in polite company.
Add one more to the list of conversational taboos: Credit card debt.