Infographic: 10 percent think debt dies with them

Many consumers aren't aware their unpaid debts could haunt their survivors, according to a November 2013 survey from Securian Financial Group.

The online survey (which polled 1,004 adults) found that nearly one-third of respondents hadn't given any thought to what would happen to their debts if they unexpectedly passed away. When asked what they guessed would happen, 10 percent said credit card debts would be forgiven, and twice as many said student loan debt would be forgiven.

What actually happens is that the creditor will get what it can from the deceased's estate or, worse, come after a co-signer if there is one. So how many co-signers could find themselves in this unfortunate position? Just under one-fourth of survey respondents said they had co-signed loans for others -- and most of those had co-signed for family.

The chart below shows the percentage of survey respondents who thought that certain types of debt would be forgiven upon their death.


See related: How to stave off collection attempts after death, More infographics

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Updated: 03-22-2019