Saturday, August 2, 2014

is the debt half full?

The fact that 35% of Americans owe debt that is delinquent, at least 180 days old, has been flying around the internet lately and included in the headline of this Lynn Stuart Parramore article: "Debtor Nation: 35 Percent of Americans Owe Bills to Collections Agencies.

At the same time, if one acts against the tweeting tendencies of our common era, and actually reads the article, we learn that the median debt of the 35% who owe a debt for more than 180 days is only $1349.

In other words, there are 65% of Americans with no delinquent debt and then another 17.5% with less than $1349. So 82.5% of us, or more than four out of five Americans, have less than $1349 in past-due debt, and frankly that is not so bad.

Among the other fifth, or 17.5%, I imagine, as anyone would who has had significant debt or a close relative with such problems, "the sleepless nights and anxiety that comes from an ability to meet debt obligations" could be very real, though.

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