What is Debt and Why is Too Much Debt Costly?

Debt is something, typically money, that is owed or due. Borrowing more money than you can afford is costly in many ways. According to the Federal Reserve, in April 2013 the average credit card debt equaled $3,364 per U.S. adult. If you paid just the minimum amount due ($67.28), it would take you over 19 years to pay off this debt. And you would pay a total of $7,618.64 over this time, that’s $4,254.63 more than you borrowed.

Taking on too much debt also lowers your credit score. That means you will end up paying higher interest rates on all your consumer and mortgage loans. A low credit score can also make it harder to rent an apartment, get utility services, and even get a job.

Too much debt isn't just expensive. People with lots of debt often say they lack peace of mind. They worry constantly about paying off debts and making ends meet. The stress of these worries affects their family life, work performance, and other areas of their lives.

The only way to reduce credit card debt is to make payments each and every month. To reduce this even faster you should pay more than the minimum payment each month.

Learn More:

 

Take the Pledge

I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Are you saving enough for retirement? Try the @choosetosave Ballpark E$timate to find your number: http://bit.ly/2imH3I9 #ASW17

Share Your Tip or Story

And if we feature you in our newsletter, you get $25.

Share

Saver Stories View all »

Learning to Save

Kisha Barns’s financial situation was undisciplined, unrestricted, and impulsive before she came into contact with her local America Saves campaign, Charlotte Saves.

Read more...

Inspired to Build Savings By Starting Small

With little-to-no money in the bank and living on a limited income with her adult daughter, Sharon wasn’t sure if building up savings for her future was even possible. “At my age, to put debts behind me would be a relief,” she said, but she wasn’t quite sure how to even get started with a savings plan. That all changed when Sharon attended the Great Lakes Michigan Saves Pay Yourself First Saver’s Summit during America Saves Week.

Read more...

The Gift of Homeownership

Quaneka Willis, a single mother of three children, was receiving rental assistance through the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee when she decided to take control of her finances. So, in September of 2013 she attended the Make Your Money Talk program and pledged as a Wisconsin Saver. In less than 12 months, she had maximized her savings and was beginning the process of purchasing her first home.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Sign up for Texts

Sign Up

Sign up for Emails

Get Emails

Take the Pledge

Start Saving