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Debt.com » Press Release » In Debt and Full of Regret: Americans, Overwhelmingly, Have At Least One Financial Regret and Credit Cards Top the List

In Debt and Full of Regret: Americans, Overwhelmingly, Have At Least One Financial Regret and Credit Cards Top the List


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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL., April 22, 2024 – In honor of Financial Literacy Month, Debt.com conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans to uncover their biggest money regrets. The results were eye-opening.

Topping the list of regrets was overspending on credit cards, which was cited by a significant portion of respondents. In fact, 78% of those surveyed admitted to having financial regrets, with one in five pointing to excessive credit card usage as their most remorseful financial decision.

“It’s no surprise that credit card debt is a growing regret,” says Debt.com president Don Silvestri. “The United States has 1 billion credit cards in circulation – and only 333 million people. As long as credit card balances keep rising, so will the stress that comes with it.”


The extent of credit card debt among respondents is equally concerning. More than a quarter (26%) reported carrying a balance ranging from $15,000 to $30,000, while 15% acknowledged owing between $30,000 and $50,000.

Nearly half of respondents admit that their credit card debt is a constant source of worry and say their credit card debt is “always on their mind.” What’s more, the passage of time seems to amplify this remorse. Over a third (35%) confessed to feeling even worse about their credit card debt now than they did just a year ago.

The survey findings underscore the impact of financial decisions and highlight the importance of financial literacy to empower people and avoid similar regrets in the future.

The research also found:

  • 26% of Millennials say they regret accumulating debt on their credit cards.
  • Not far behind are Gen X and Gen Z with 19% citing the same regret of credit card debt.
  • Gen X is most likely to “accept” and “ignore” their credit card debt.
    • When asked “how does your credit card debt make you feel?” 67% agreed and strongly agreed with “acceptance.” Roughly 3 in 5 Gen X chose the response “I ignore it.”
  • 24% of Baby Boomers report having $30,000 to $50,000 in credit card debt.
  • One in 5 of Gen Z regret taking on too much in student loan debt and 11% of Millennials say the same.  6% of Gen X and only 2% of Baby Boomers have the same regret.

While Gen X has less regret than the younger generations about taking on student loan debt, they have more of it:

  • 35% of Gen X say they took out $200,000 or more in student loans.
  • 30% say they took out between $100,000 to $200,000.
  • More than 30% say they still owe $200,000 or more.
  • 61% have been paying that debt for 7 to 10 years.
  • 17% report they have been paying it off for between 11 to 15 years.

More than 1 in 3 (38%) of Baby Boomers regret not saving for retirement sooner while 25% report having nothing saved for retirement.

“If there’s any good news here, it’s this: Regrets aren’t results,” Silvestri says. “Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying down credit cards, there are professionals who can help you –starting just with a phone call. Debt.com can introduce you to certified credit counselors who will give you a free debt analysis. Once you have a clear view of your finances, you can turn those regrets into relief.”

About Debt.com: Debt.com is a consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers “when life happens.”


Media Contact: Jill Randolph [email protected]

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