Debt is nothing new, but the levels of debt that many Americans now have are much higher than in the past. Credit card debt reached a record high of $834 billion in 2018, and student loan delinquency rates are not looking good either. The reasons behind these growing debts can vary from person to person, and those reasons will also affect how any given person will approach debt management. Figuring out where some of their debt comes from can help Connecticut consumers in this decision.
The psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo believes that some of the increase in debt could be blamed on shifting societal values. She thinks that society is focused on instant gratification much more than in the past, which could be driving up debt for people who might be better off waiting to make certain purchases. But is this the fault of out-of-control consumers with no self-control? Probably not.
Advertising has gone to an entirely new level, particularly with social media. No matter where people turn, they cannot escape the barrage of messages warning them that their self-worth is based on external factors, including the schools they attend or vehicles they drive. This type of advertising is particularly problematic among the millennial generation, but both Gen Xers and baby boomers also struggle with overspending because of advertisements.
Most people in Connecticut like to believe that they are rational individuals who make sound and responsible decisions. While this might be true most of the time, no one is immune from the influences of advertisements, and some people might be dismayed to realize how much debt they have accumulated. While this can be disconcerting, considering debt management options or even personal bankruptcy can help these individuals improve their finances.