Americans In Debt Interview with KNX Radio Los Angeles
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 with Diane Thompson of KNX Radio Los Angeles about the December 2015 Americans In Debt survey. The interview and transcript are below.
Matt Schultz: Debt is a difficult thing and it can really paralyze people who don’t know what to do.
Diane Thompson: And that’s especially sobering when you hear the results of a new study that finds one in five Americans expects to die in debt. Matt Schultz is a senior analyst with creditcards.com, which did the survey.
Matt Schulz: It really speaks to people’s belief that they’re never going to be completely free of debt in their entire life. What’s interesting is that we found that about one in five Americans said that they don’t have any debt at all, and that’s up from 14% last year, so it’s interesting where you have people getting away from debt entirely, and then you have people who feel like they’re never going to escape.
Thompson: Were you able to find out who has the most debt? Is it baby boomers, is it millennials, is it kids just coming out of college?
Matt Schulz: Now we didn’t really ask about the amount of debt, but one of the things that we found was that millennials, for all the talk about the horrible economic straits that they’ve grown up in, they’re actually more optimistic about their finances than any other age group, because only 11% of them claim they’ll never be debt free.
Jim Thornton: And I thought this was fascinating. People with no children are more likely to say they’ll never get out of debt than parents are. You would think it was just the opposite. With no kids, you don’t have as many debts.
Matt Schulz: That was one of the most surprising aspects of the survey for me, but I also think that maybe it gets a little at that optimism of, you know, I’m going to put in the work, I’m going to do what I can to make sure that my kids have it better than me, so I’m going to try and pay off my debts as much as I can.
Thompson: With this survey that you did about debts and how one in five Americans expect to die in debt, do you think this will change people’s thinking about this? It’s like you know what, I’m going to try and pay cash for everything if I can, and not have a credit card balance?
Matt Schulz: I hope it does change some minds, because debt can grow so quickly, and again, the most important thing for people to know is that they just can’t be paralyzed, they have to do something, they have to take some sort of action to try and get it under control.
Thornton: That’s Matt Schultz, senior analyst with creditcards.com. He says if you want to get out of debt, create a budget and track all of your expenses. Sounds pretty simple.