Research and Statistics

Infographic: Unemployment makes consumers critical of debt


Those struggling to find work are more likely to look down their noses at your credit card debt, survey says

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Those struggling to find work (about 35 million Americans at the end of 2012) are more likely to look down their noses at your credit card debt, according to a July 2013 report, “Lifestyles of the Under- and Unemployed” from Mintel.

The online survey of 2,000 adults asked participants for their attitudes about debt. Respondents with steady employment were more likely to be flexible about deferred financial obligations and have an enjoy-now-pay-later attitude about credit cards. Those hurting for work, though, were more likely to consider debt “dangerous” and say that having it is never a positive thing. The under- and unemployed in the 18-to-44 age bracket were particularly critical, the survey found. They were 5 percent more likely than survey participants as a whole to label those who carry credit card debt as irresponsible.

The survey attributes these harsh views to the anxiety the under- and unemployed have about their finances. The especially jaded attitude among the 18-to-44 age bracket stems from the fact that this age group was hardest hit by the recession.

The chart below shows attitudes about debt by employment status.

Debt attitudes of unemployed

See related:Dealing with credit card debt after being laid off, More infographics

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