Survey: Lack of education goes with credit card debt

Households without credit card debt tend to be more educated than those with credit card debt, according to "The Debt Disparity: What Drives Credit Card Debt in America," a study released May 1, 2014, by public policy organization Demos.

Nearly half (47 percent) of the households that include at least a bachelor's degree have no credit card debt. Just 27 percent of such households do have credit card debt. That's the only educational group in which no-debt households outnumber have-debt households.

Compare that to households where a high school degree is the highest educational level. In them, 27 percent report having no credit card debt, while 38 percent do have card debt.

Why the discrepancy?

Demos surmises that financial literacy may increase with education, or perhaps education provides resources that gives the consumer access to jobs more quickly.

For Demos' study, Knowledge Networks surveyed 1,997 households in February and March 2012, with 997 households reporting that they carried credit card debt for more than three months and 1,000 households reporting that they had credit cards but no credit card debt at the time of the survey. The study examined data on adults up to 65 years old. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points on households with credit card debt, 5.3 percentage points on households without debt.

See related: No health care insurance? 6 tips to deal with emergency room bills, More infographics

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Updated: 12-18-2018