Almost 1 in 5 Americans think they'll never be debt-free - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Almost 1 in 5 Americans think they'll never be debt-free

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 Almost one in five Americans with debt (18%) think they will never get out of it, according to a new report. That's double the 9% who gave that response the last time the website asked this question in May 2013. On average, Americans expect to achieve debt-free status at age 53 (including credit card debt, car loans, student loans, mortgages and other types of debt). However, 43% of those with debt expect to remain in debt at age 61 or later, including the 18% who predict they will still owe money when they die. Fewer than one in four Americans with debt expect to be debt-free at age 40 or earlier.

More than a third of Americans (38%) have already incurred debt this holiday season. They don't expect it to last long, though. 55% say they will eliminate the holiday debt within one month, and 74% expect their holiday debt to linger no more than three months. Just 5% say they will still be paying their holiday debt a year from now.

When it comes to overall debt, the most optimistic are millennials. Only 6% of 18-29 year-olds say they will never get out of debt, compared with 31% of debtors age 65 and older and 22% between the ages of 50 and 64.

"It's easy to feel paralyzed when you're overloaded with debt and feel like you'll never get out, but the worst thing you can do is nothing," said Matt Schulz,'s senior industry analyst. "It's incredibly important to make moves to begin knocking down those debts before they truly do grow out of control."

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