What would you do to become debt free

JUNE 30, 2023 (HOUSTON) – A national survey of 2,000 adults found that the average American believes they would only last 8.5 weeks before they accrued new debt if made debt-free. Beyond Finance, one of the nation’s largest and most progressive debt help organizations revealed these eye-opening numbers and general emotions related to debt.

With only 38% of respondents believing they are “very confident” in their ability to remain out of debt, the other 62% shared diverse reasons why getting back in debt would happen inevitably.

  • 54% cited the cost of living
  • 46% unexpected expenses
  • 29% stressed rising interest rates
  • 16% would still be worried about “keeping up with the Joneses”

What Would You Do to Become Debt Free?

What would you do to stay out of debt, asks Beyond Finance

Despite the expected state of affairs related to personal debt, Americans would be willing to pay an interesting price to get out of debt.

  • 32% of polled respondents would give up social media for a year
  • 31% would spend a night on a remote, deserted island
  • 29% would endure a month without Internet access
  • 18% would plan on going storm chasing
  • 12% would swim with sharks
  • 11% would go to Pamplona and run with the bulls if it meant no more debt, bills, or calls

Dr. Erika Rasure, Chair of the Financial Therapy Clinical Institute Research Board and one of Beyond Finance’s client financial therapists, said that the stress of debt could cause people to put their lives on hold.

“Debt can sometimes deter people’s short- and long-term goals,” said Dr. Rasure. “Learning to manage it effectively can be life-changing, but almost half of those surveyed admit feeling anxious about their debt, which may make it challenging to focus on finding solutions.”

What Would Happen If You Were Debt Free?

What would happen if you were debt free, asks Beyond Finance

Debt comes in various forms. Among the most significant debt hurdles of those polled are credit card debt (57%), mortgages (30%), automotive loans (30%), and medical debt (28%). The average amount of that debt is $54,767, with 56% said to be spent primarily on “necessities, not ‘nice-to-have’ debt,” such as impulse purchases or excess entertainment.

“The problem with having so much debt is not as much as the amount, as it is managing it all,” Dr. Rasure said. “With a proper understanding of managing a budget and remaining disciplined, reaching significant milestones won’t have to be determined by a choice of ‘Can we do it or not?’”

The national poll discussed how financial stress and negativity could prevent us from making important decisions that will benefit our quality of life. Those polled noted that debt has stood in the way of change, like:

  • 33% weren’t able to purchase a home
  • 30% couldn’t buy or lease a new car
  • 24% didn’t have the funds to set up their children’s savings account

Yet, if they woke up one day with no debt, those life decisions would be slightly different. For example, 32% of those polled would immediately add money to their emergency fund, 27% would buy their dream home, and 24% would build their children’s savings accounts. Other smaller percentages included “pursuing a different career,” “starting a business,” and “helping parents with their debts.”

What Kind of Debt Do You Have?

How much debt do you have and why, asks Beyond Finance

“Debt creates real symptoms like anxiety, worry, and depression,” Dr. Rasure said. “However, debt can be subjective, depending on the individual who has it and is managing it.”

Close to half (48%) of those surveyed said some of their debt was worth collecting, such as a mortgage (38%), car loan (33%), and home improvement (28%). Other worthy debts were medical bills (27%), a small business loan (15%), and undergraduate tuition (14%).

The other 52% of surveyed Americans suggested different reasons for debt feeling inadequate, like interest rates (24%), the inability to pay it off (22%), and seeing what they owe increase (20%). Whether debt is viewed positively or negatively, 31% still ask their parents for help. Why? Because only 41% believe they will get out of debt after several years of payments.

“If you have exhausted looking for a loan or asking loved ones for help, consider getting help from a company like Beyond Finance,” Dr. Rasure said. “Choose a company that picks a solution personalized to your needs and helps you keep track of your progress. Seeing your debt gradually diminish is a great way to stay motivated to become debt-free.”

Survey Methodology
Beyond Finance commissioned this random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans between June 9 and June 12, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll and facilitated by SWNS/72 Point, whose team members are the Market Research Society members and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
About Beyond Finance, LLC
Beyond Finance, LLC, based in Houston, is one of the nation’s largest, most successful, and most influential debt consolidation services organizations. By standing alongside clients wherever they are in their debt journey, Beyond Finance uses personalized debt solutions and proprietary technology to give them the clarity, confidence, and tools they need to move beyond debt. Since 2017, they have serviced more than $3 billion in client debt. In June 2020, it merged with an affiliate to become the dedicated company it is today. They have additional offices in Fort Worth, Chicago, San Diego, and Irvine, California. For more information, visit BeyondFinance.com.