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Research and Statistics

Many Americans would give up dining out, vacationing to erase debt

New study also shows 24 percent have more card debt now than they did last year

Summary

A new survey shows more than 1 in 5 Americans say they’d be willing to give up restaurants or vacations for a full decade in exchange for erasing their debt.

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Debt is causing enough stress in Americans that more than 1 in 5 say they’d be willing to give up restaurants or vacations for a full decade in exchange for erasing their debt.

The finding comes from a survey by debt negotiation company Freedom Debt Relief, which also found only a third of respondents (33 percent) reporting they have less credit card debt than a year ago. Forty-two percent indicated they have about the same, and almost a quarter (24 percent) said they have more card debt today than last year.

About 1 in 8 respondents (13 percent) said they’d be willing to give up their right to vote if it meant their debt would disappear. But saying goodbye to their cellphone or the internet was too steep a price for 94 to 95 percent of Americans.

See related:  Poll: 56 percent of balance-carrying cardholders have had debt for at least a year

The most common response of all was not what they would be willing to give up, but rather what they wouldn’t consider. Almost a third of respondents (31 percent) said they wouldn’t give up a single one of the presented options in order to eliminate their debt.

While some portion of Americans indicated they were willing to make big sacrifices in order to improve their debt situation, others are hoping to make a dent with a windfall. Specifically, 41 percent of respondents — and 44 percent of millennials — said they plan to pay off debt with their tax refund.

Freedom Debt Relief’s study was conducted online in January 2019 among 2,195 U.S. adults, with the resulting data weighted to U.S. Census demographics. Findings were released in February.

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