Debt Slaves: 7 Out Of 10 Americans Believe That Debt "Is A Necessity In Their Lives"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Could you live without debt?  Most Americans say that they cannot.  According to a brand new Pew survey, approximately 7 out of every 10 Americans believe that “debt is a necessity in their lives”, and approximately 8 out of every 10 Americans actually have debt right now.  Most of us like to think that “someday” we will get out of the hole and quit being debt slaves, but very few of us ever actually accomplish this.  That is because the entire system is designed to trap us in debt before we even get out into the “real world” and keep us in debt until we die.  Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize what is being done to them.

In America today, debt is considered to be just part of normal life.  We go into debt to go to college, we go into debt to buy a vehicle, we go into debt to buy a home, and we are constantly using our credit cards to buy the things that we think we need.

As a result, this generation of Americans is absolutely swimming in debt.  The following are some of the findings of the Pew survey that I mentioned above…

*”8 in 10 Americans have debt, with mortgages the most common liability.”


*”Although younger generations of Americans are the most likely to have debt (89 percent of Gen Xers and 86 percent of millennials do), older generations are increasingly carrying debt into retirement.”


*”7 in 10 Americans said debt is a necessity in their lives, even though they prefer not to have it.”

Most of us wish that we didn’t have any debt, but we have bought into the lie that it is a necessary part of life in America in the 21st century.

It has been estimated that 43 percent of all American households spend more money than they make each month, and U.S. households are more than 11 trillion dollars in debt at this point.

When it comes to government debt, that is easy for us to blame on someone else, but all of this household debt is undoubtedly something that we have done to ourselves.

It all starts at a very early age for most of us.  When we are still in high school, we are endlessly told about how important a college education is.  All of the authority figures in our lives insist that we should just try to get into the best school that we possibly can and to not even worry about how much it will cost.

So many of us go into staggering amounts of debt before we even get out into the working world.  We had faith that the “good jobs” that were being promised to us would be there when we graduated.

Unfortunately, in this day and age those “good jobs” end up being a mirage more often than not.

But whether or not we can find a good job, we still have to pay off all that debt.

According to new data that was recently released, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States has risen to a grand total 1.2 trillion dollars.  If you can believe it, that total has more than doubled over the past decade.

Right now, there are approximately 40 million Americans that are paying off student loan debt.  For many of them, they will keep making payments on this debt until they are senior citizens.

Another way that they get you while you are still in school is with credit card debt.

I got my first credit card while I was in college, and nobody ever taught me about the potential dangers.

Today, the average U.S. household that has at least one credit card has approximately $15,950 in credit card debt.

So let’s say that you have that much credit card debt and you are paying an annual interest rate of 17 percent.  If you only pay the minimum payment each month, it will take you 229 months to pay your credit card off, and during that time you will have paid $13,505.82 in interest charges.

In other words, you will almost have paid twice as much for everything that you originally bought with your credit card by the time it is all said and done.

This is why banks love to give you credit cards.  If they can get back nearly twice as much money as they originally give you, they get rich and you get poor.

Most of us get loaded down with even more debt when we go to buy a vehicle.  Instead of saving up and getting what we can afford, many of us end up getting the largest loans that we can qualify for.

In a previous article, I discussed the fact that the average auto loan at signing in America today is approximately $27,000.  In order to get the monthly payments down to a level where we can afford them, many of these auto loans are now being stretched out for six or seven years.  In fact, the number of auto loans that exceed 72 months has hit at an all-time high of 29.5 percent.

It is the same thing with home loans.

In the old days, it was extremely rare for a mortgage to be stretched over 30 years, but today that is pretty much the standard.

Sadly, most people don’t understand how much money this is costing them.

If you take out a $300,000 mortgage at 3.92 percent and stretch it over 30 years, you will end up paying back a grand total of $510,640.

In other words, you will pay for two houses by the time you are done.

Yes, we all need somewhere to live, and there are definitely negatives to renting as well.  But it is very important that we all understand what is being done to us.

And I haven’t even discussed one of the most insidious forms of debt yet.

Have you noticed that most doctors and most hospitals will never tell you how much something is going to cost in advance?

They get us when we are at our most vulnerable.  When there is something wrong with us physically, we are often desperate to get help.  So we don’t ask too many questions and we just go along with whatever they say.

But then later we get the bill and we are often completely shocked by what they have charged us.

If you are completely unethical, it is a great business model.  People that are extremely desperate and needy come to you and you don’t even have to tell them how much your services are going to cost.  And then once they leave, you send them an absolutely outrageous bill for whatever you feel like charging.

Frankly, I don’t know how a lot of people working in the medical field live with themselves.  In their extreme greed, they are ruining the lives of millions of ordinary American families.

One very disturbing study found that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either currently have medical bill problems or are paying off medical debt.  And collection agencies seek to collect unpaid medical bills from about 30 million of us each and every year.

Most of us will spend our entire lives paying off debt.

That is why we are called debt slaves – our hard work makes others extremely wealthy.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Oh regional Indian's picture

Debt = Slow Death

Neither a borrower nor a lender be?

Those old aphorisms were brim full of use full truths...


Skateboarder's picture

Repayment is a heavy burden for the soul,
and burdened souls are easy to tame.
Nature says abundance, man says scarcity.
Credit is not of nature's way.

Aha, now I made it rhyme a little bit too.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Perhaps Boundless credit and 0 debt is nature's way?

Our role is to polish our gem of temperance ;-)

HonkyShogun's picture
HonkyShogun (not verified) Oh regional Indian Jul 30, 2015 10:35 PM

They say this is a Shemitah year. I just hope Shemitah doesn't do that scary black woman thing where her head moves side to side.

Amish FinEng's picture

Stupid English pay an average $27,000 for an automobile? $27,000? That rapidly turns into a $1500 automobile over a period of 8 years?

Then you pay $300,000 for a wood box on .15ac of land that cost the builder, Pulte Homes $65,000 to construct?
James Grosfeld
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pulte Homes, Inc.

Would you guys wake up please?! I'm embarrassed for you far too often.

Amish FinEng's picture

Yea, hey English stooooopids.

Let's all go get our teeth whitened today, ok?!~

Stuck on Zero's picture

Anyone here think they are out of debt?  Think again.  Your share of the national debt is about $500K.

free shit plz's picture
free shit plz (not verified) Oh regional Indian Jul 31, 2015 4:34 PM

From Snyder's website:

We believe in the millennial reign of Christ during which Jesus will rule over earth for 1,000 years following His second coming.

We believe that a final judgment will take place for all those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and cast into the lake of fire.

We believe and look forward to a new heaven and a new earth that God will create. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following the millennial reign of Jesus on Earth.

Who cares what a creationist simpleton with delusions of genocide thinks about the economy? Does he have any original insight to contribute? Why is this retard's facile shit even considered for zerohedge. Embarrassing is an understatement.

If zerohedge wants to allow paying contributors like snyder, ramireZZZ et al- they should respect their readers enough to inform us that an article's author has paid to have the article published, anything less is dishonest.

Skateboarder's picture

Discipline and patience are man's best friends; instant gratification is always false. It takes time for things to grow, but when they do, the bounty is bountiful. From plants you grow, to things you learn and make make, to your bodily skills... these are your only assets. Debt is a slap in the face to the disciplined, patient, and prudent. I will do business without debt, everything out of pocket, slowly built. Everything good takes time.

Ward no. 6's picture

very well said

lots of wisdom...

invisible touch's picture
invisible touch (not verified) Ward no. 6 Jul 31, 2015 1:34 AM

7 fucking morrons out of 10...

new game's picture

the eighth deadly sin - debt! self inflicted short term gratification with false expectations.

mankinds ultimate weakness. sign and drive-vw slogan. and they come running fast as they can.

should have got into finance, ha.

suck my dick bankers, suck hard and blow me off and i'm give you some interest, ha...

Rearden-Steel's picture

Who cares about debt. There's a freaking lion dead in Africa!

Oh regional Indian's picture

A dead lion would not be such a story, disingenuous of you. It's the American trophy hunter angle that is disturbing, as it should be.

Hunters with guns = COWARDS....

Tallest Skil's picture

You're a complete idiot and will be the reason that lions go extinct. Enjoy your genocide.

CrazyCooter's picture

If you actually bothered to read any of the news, there were no guns involved in the killing of this particular lion.

Gun rights are one of the few reasons America hasn't been completely overthrown, so count yourself as part of the problem.



Oh regional Indian's picture

Azit turns out, I did.

Dope shot him with an arrow first, injured the beast, found him 40 hours later and put him out of his misery with a gun.

I'll say the same thing again and you really ought to try and understand natures balance.

It does not include a fucking trophy hunter killing an apex predator that was doing nothing to him. In a land 6,000 miles away.


Your views are the one's that need re-freshing, not mine.

Guns will save you, sure they will....


new game's picture

ask 500,000 cambodians and 6 million jews. 20 million plus othesr slaughtered by "lion" hunters, ha.

yea, your blow dart peace pipe will save you, ha again...

smokintoad's picture

You can bet that even though the dentist was armed with a crossbow, his two "guides" had rifles in case the lion somehow got the upper hand.

Flying to Africa, driving into a game preserve to lure out a lion that has become conditioned to being around humans and killing the endangered creature is so destructive and pointless.  Roll time back 100 years or so,  I imagine he could have found a village that needed a lion problem solved. And hiking into roadless terrain fully populated with untamed wildlife, and depending on 1800's technology to keep you alive would have been a worthy test of a hunter.

MsCreant's picture

I find the fact that the politicians on both sides know it is not legal, but look the other way, because they want to make the rich fucks happy, disturbing. Just like they do on Wall Street. Different rules for them and us.

ThrowAwayYourTV's picture

He didn't shoot Cecil with a gun, he shot him with an arrow.

Oh regional Indian's picture

It was a 40 hour hunt.

They nicked him with an arrow and then finished it with a gun....

Fucker thought he was Trazan or some such....

Agstacker's picture

Who is Trazan, anyway?  Enjoy your cheeseburger for lunch.

Normalcy Bias's picture

If you see Trazan rollin' his purple Escalade with 24" rims through your 'hood, lemme know. That thieving pimp owes me $$$!!!

Agstacker's picture

Did you even read the lion story?  The dude shot it with a bow you moron!

Blankenstein's picture

Did you?  He first shot it with a bow and then shot it with a gun 40 hours later, moron.

HulkHogan's picture

...and I got fired for using the "N" word.

dojufitz's picture

Did he do Cecil's teeth before blowing him away?



AGuy's picture

WOW! 20% of americans have no debt? I find that amazing. I thought it would be less then 2% have no debt. Even someone like Trump has some debt.


in4mayshun's picture

Properly managed, debt can be an asset, especially in business. Why would I pay for my vehicle when I can finance it for 0.9% and use the $30,000 to expand my business instead?

Took Red Pill's picture

"20% of americans have no debt?" I was thinking the same thing. Author thought that was shocking but to me it's shockingly high amount without debt. BTW, I have no debt; cars paid for, house paid for, no revolving debt, no student loans. It's a good feeling and I don't know of very many in the same boat.

Money Boo Boo's picture

7 out of 10 Americans don't know they're obese either and it's not a fad.

Fukushima Fricassee's picture
Fukushima Fricassee (not verified) Oh regional Indian Jul 31, 2015 3:35 AM

Merikans = stupid ignorant free shit fools

doctor10's picture

It is a human rights violation to use humans as collateral

White Mountains's picture

I have no outstanding debt, but I am still a debt slave.

A business owner.  For every $1 I earn the government tells me I am in debt to them for 40-cents.

Don't pay, and the government will swat team my home and family.  Resist and they kill us.

Land of the Free?  Judge for yourself. 

Bill of Rights's picture

Bullion Direct goes belly up

On July 20, 2015, BullionDirect, Inc. filed a bankruptcy petition, Chapter 11 No. 15-10940 in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division Additional notices will appear at this site regarding hearings, deadlines, filing proofs of claim and other such matters. [PDF notice]


Im sure many orders will go unfilled...


Fukushima Fricassee's picture
Fukushima Fricassee (not verified) Bill of Rights Jul 31, 2015 3:53 AM


ebworthen's picture

All by design.  The great lie is that you should "work hard and be responsible".

Yeah?  Why?  Because it feeds the beast in Wall Street and Washington?  The bailouts and free money for the banks/corporations/insurers wiped that idea off the slate.

Give me sound money and start producing again while offering me interest on my savings and we can start talking about responsibility.  The example set by Wall Street and Washington is that debt is good, so what the fuck do they expect regular folks to do, keep carrying their bags?

Fuck you assholes, to Hell and back on a bed of nails.

Mintcoin's picture

You need Mintcoin. Sound money, with a sustainable % savings rate.

Al Gophilia's picture

So go ahead and vote.

That way you get to keep the system that guarantees you'll be endebted forevah!

Fiat money. The gift that keeps on ... taking.

Vote 1 for Trump. Go Trump!

I wanna be slaved.


European American's picture

I must confess. I declared bankruptcy back in the late 80's. Not proud of that time in my life but it was legal and it literally saved me. Since then, "If I can't buy that product/service with the cash in my wallet, then I wasn't suppose to have it." has been my philosophy for the last 25 years, and even though the State stills owns my real estate, more or less (various taxes), I'm basically free. Debt is a killer of ones mental, physical and emotional immune system. I highly recommend avoiding IT at all costs. Debit card is the only plastic money in my wallet, along with some fiat currency. My bank is the color of Gold and SIlver.  

in4mayshun's picture

Debt doesn't have to be the boogey man. One must truly understand debt and use it to his advantage. ( And no, throwing an Xbox, diamond earrings, and a vacation on a credit card is NOT using debt to your advantage.)

Gambit's picture

Agree In4, debt like currency, a gun or a hammer is a tool. In the hands of a responsible individual they can be used for good and for progress, but in the hands of an imbicile, well I'll let ur imagination fill in the gap.

yogibear's picture

And people wonder how Hitler took over in Germany.

People in the US are now more gullible than the Germans in the 20's.

Tough to keep liberty.

All the US needs is a full-fledged tyrant.


Hugh G Rection's picture

Speaking of gullible, take a look in the mirror.