You’re probably feeling some type of financial stress whether from school, credit debt, healthcare bills, or whatever else that causes stress. However, you’re not alone. Americans today face increased healthcare costs, worse housing affordability, and many more financial burdens. According to NerdWallet in a study that was published in 2018, more and more households are dealing with rising debt.
Within that study, researchers gave an educated estimate that the average household owes roughly $135,000 of debt; the average homeowner with a mortgage owed roughly $185,000; households with credit card debt owed roughly $6,500; households with student debt owed roughly $48,000; and the average household that owed money on an auto loan owed roughly $28,000. Americans are in a pretty significant amount of debt! Due to these large amounts of debt, households begin to feel financial stress and pressure in order to keep their families afloat. Less and less people are able to follow good budget plans!
A good rule of thumb is to spend 30% of your post-tax income on rent, and an additional 20% on all other household bills like utilities, groceries, etc. Then with the remaining 50% of post-tax income, 30% should go to other bills and needs and the remaining 20% goes towards paying off debt and/or savings. However, while this is the ideal budget plan, the average American only saves about 8% of their post-tax income. This is where the pressure really starts setting in.
While debt as a whole has been making Americans struggle, one of the primary culprits of this crippling anxiety is student loan debt. In the third quarter of 2018, roughly two and a half million borrowers had to put their federal student loan on forbearance. When a loan is put on forbearance, the borrower has the ability to pause payments to avoid having the loan default. However, during the period of non-payments, interest rate is still accrued. Unfortunately, NerdWallet was able to conduct a survey that showed 66% of Americans didn’t know that interest still accrue during this time frame and didn’t realize the amount of extra cash that is put onto the loan. Even though many Americans have this student loan debt, not many feel comfortable discussing that topic. Experts believe that it is because it showcases a lack of understanding of student loans and makes them feel childish. They don’t want to confide in anyone for help because they are already so deep into the loan. It is necessary to make sure that you have the right resources when dealing with student loans and to not feel ashamed of any situation you are currently in.
Americans have to deal with all of this debt stress all while the cost of living is steadily increasing. According to the study published by NerdWallet, healthcare costs AS WELL AS tuition costs have increased by a third over the past 10 years. Small changes like restaurant meals are experiencing inflation too with roughly a 25% increase from 11 years ago. Not only that, but interest rates are increased too, even though only by 3% it is still more money that you are spending now opposed to before!
It can be hard navigating all the money obligations of life while still actually living it. However, you are not the only person facing financial stress and there are resources out there to assist with any and all debt concerns that you may have .