Over the past 30 years, American families have taken on increasing amounts of debt. The growing use of credit among American households, particularly following the Great Recession, has different implications across generations. Although most households have more assets than debt, 80 percent hold some form of debt and that can signal economic opportunity and potential trouble. For example, accruing some debt at an early age can encourage wealth-building, but too much debt later in life can increase financial insecurity. This report provides a comprehensive look at the complex story of American debt—how families hold it, their attitudes toward it, and how it relates to their overall financial health.
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