College education and renting are two demographics with rising debt averages
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/22/2012 -- Credit card bills, mortgage payments, student loans, or any other levied fee, big financial burdens hampered many Americans. The college educated have more than the rest of the nation.
Research has found that 27% of over 40% of their income towards debts that are defined as “fixed expenses” in 2008. That number is up 17% in 1992.
Those who hold a college degree are more likely than their less educated counterparts to pay more than 40% of their income toward individual debt.
Research also noted that those who have debt problems are also optimistic about the five-year future of the nation. The study did not attempt to find out how sincere the individuals were in their belief, but at least one expert believes it is part of the overall problem regarding how individuals fall into such debt.
"People who piled on debt may have been too optimistic about their economic future, but you can’t blame that on a lack of education," said Sherman Hanna, co-author of the research and professor of consumer sciences at Ohio State University.
"People with college educations may have thought they were immune to any economic problems. But when people stop believing things might go bad, that’s when they get in trouble.
"If more than 40% of your income is going toward debt, you're at a danger point, because if household income drops for any reason, it would be very difficult to keep up all your payments," Hanna said.
Hanna cited interesting facts regarding the 2008 financial crisis, including that 35% of renters had heavy debt in 2007, compared to 21% of homeowners.
"We just can’t blame the lenders and say they were exploiting uneducated people who didn’t know better. Many of those who got in over their heads were highly educated," said Hanna, who co-authored the report with Yoonkyung Yuh of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea and Swarn Chatterjee of the University of Georgia. "There’s plenty of blame to go around. There wasn’t just one group of Americans who were at fault."
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