One out of five families owes more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and other unsecured debt than they have in savings, according to a new University of Michigan report. And the number of families surveyed at the end of 2011 that have no savings at all increased to 23.4%, compared with 18.5% in 2009.
“The people who were down and out, without much money, in the recession have ended up staying there or even worse,” says Frank Stafford, professor of economics at University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and co-author of the report.
…Now, 10% of families owe more than $30,000 in unsecured debt, up from 8.5% in 2009. “I talk all the time to people who are still just hanging on by their fingernails,” Cunningham says.
I suppose this explains why Obama’s approval rating on handling the national debt isn’t in single digits; some Americans relate to having a debt problem they can’t seem to control or mitigate.