The average American faces bigger debts than ever, with mounting student loans, escalating medical bills and a whole host of scary debts leading to sleepless nights and an epidemic of financial fear across the country. To show you just how bad things have become in this country, here are some stats on loans and debt in the United States:
Trillions into Millions
Student loan debt is at its highest and it’s not getting any lower. There are currently 44 million Americans with some form of student loan debt in the US and together they have a mountain of over $1.45 trillion to scale before their past will leave them alone.
For many Americans, this debt is a hurdle they will never scale. In fact, more than 1 in 10 will be delinquent by more than 90 days or will completely default. And when you consider that the average repayment is more than $350, it’s easy to see why.
Medical Debt in the US
I still encounter people in the US who struggle with the idea that we get free healthcare in the United States and that this applies to everyone and anyone, regardless of status or employment. The US healthcare system is one of the most expensive in the world and it’s a leading contributor towards the national debt, while also increasing the stress, depression and hopelessness felt by average men and women across the country.
It is the number 1 reason people file for bankruptcy in this country, the US spends more on healthcare per capita than any other country and the situation is so bad that 1 in 10 will delay getting the help they need because they worry about the bill. To an outsider like myself this is tragic, heartbreaking really, and I can’t begin to imagine what some people go through, but it’s a part of life in the United States and until it changes the 60% of Americans that are insured, but still admit to blowing through their savings to pay for care, will continue to fight against this economic tsunami.
I mentioned the US national debt above, but just how bad is this? Well, it’s a figure that’s constantly growing, but it’s around $20 trillion, of which $15 trillion is held by the public. When broken down into a per capita figure it’s around $57,000. As bad as that sounds (and it is bad) it’s still not quite 100% of the GDP, while the UK national debt is 2.5 times the GDP and accounts for over $120,000 per capita.
The US doesn’t have the worst national debt per capita or based on GDP. However, the total figure is more than twice any other national debt in the world and for the globe’s leading superpower, the home of the free and the land of the American Dream, that’s inexcusable.
Also, China’s national debt is just over $1,000 per capita and is just 13% of the national debt.
Look for a service for finding nearest lender and try to consolidate your loans. It should be the first course of action for anyone with debts that are spiraling out of control, but far too often it is an option that we ignore.
You should also seek advice from financial sites like MyMoney, which is an official government site that can guide you on everything regarding student loan debt and general debt, and PocketYourDollars, which is a little more user-oriented but just as content-rich. Just be cautious of taking advice from sites and companies with the goal of taking your money. Look for third-party sites and take advice from people who have been there and survived intact and not people who have all the money in the world and therefore assume they know how to advise everyone else.
There are teams of lawyers who can also help you with your debt, either operating as a guidance and advice service, or working for a small fee. If you are struggling, it might be worth a thought.