Survey Reveals Getting Out of Debt is the Ultimate Goal for Many Americans

There is great disparity in how people define the American Dream according to a new Credit.com survey, and not surprisingly, getting out of debt represents the ultimate financial goal for many people.

San Francisco, CA | September 06, 2013

There is great disparity in how people define the American Dream according to a new Credit.com survey, and not surprisingly, getting out of debt represents the ultimate financial goal for many people.

The survey, conducted by GFK Custom Research for Credit.com, found that most respondents (27.9%) said the American Dream is retiring financially secure at 65, though coming in at second place, 23% defined it as being debt-free. The other options were owning a home (18.2%), graduating from college or paying off your student loans (6.6%) and joining the 1% (4.3%). The responses were rounded out by: other (11.4%), none (0.2%) and don’t know/no response (8.5%).

“The poll underscores something I have long suspected — there’s a great deal of nostalgia for a promise that increasingly and tragically no longer exists,” says Credit.com’s Co-Founder and Chairman Adam Levin, who conceived of the survey and writes about its results here. “Once upon a time, the American Dream was owning a home full of thriving, college-bound kids, two cars and little debt. Now it appears that for many Americans, the American Dream has changed.”

More interesting takeaways from the Credit.com American Dream Survey:

  • Respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 were most likely to define the American Dream as being debt-free and least likely to define it as joining the 1% or retiring financially secure at 65.
  • Americans 65 and older were mostly likely to name retirement as the American Dream.
  • The survey also asked people to identify their top short-term financial goal, meaning they hoped to address it in the next two years. A quarter of Americans aimed to be debt-free — it was the most popular choice among all age groups and all income levels.
  • Among all age groups surveyed, 18- to 24-year-olds were most likely to name buying a car or paying off an auto loan as a top priority, and they were least likely to prioritize paying off credit card debt.

Read more about there results of Credit.com’s American Dream Survey here.

About Credit.com 
Credit.com is a trusted source of financial information for consumers. Founded in 1994, and run by leading credit & money experts, Credit.com offers the latest news, advice, and free, easy-to-use tools to help consumers gain valuable insight, save money and make smarter financial decisions. Its flagship product, the free Credit Report Card, has been recognized as an innovative consumer finance tool by CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and others.

To learn more about Credit.com’s American Dream Survey or other issues related to credit, debt and personal finance in general, please contact Michael Schreiber at michael(at)credit(dot)com.

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