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Debt: This Time, It's Personal

Dog with visa card by cat edens

The national debt ceiling deadline continues to dominate headlines as August 2 nears, but a recent Associated Press-GfK poll highlights debt stress of a different kind. It revealed that more than half of Americans have money worries about what they owe to creditors.

Anyone else notice that debt is a four-letter word? Debt causes worry and anxiety. Debt can lead to arguments with your other half. Debt can cause relationship and family stress. If you're single, you generally have no one but yourself to rely on to pay the bills.

According to this  article by Connie Cass for AP, one in five adults worries about debt most or all of the time. More than a third who used a credit card for a purchase in the past month report that they won't pay it off when the bill comes.

People are clearly daunted by the dreaded d-word. Those who are unemployed have been hit especially hard. If that's not bad enough, the AP story also points to links between debt and stress-related illnesses. Ulcers, depression and heart attacks are a few examples.

Personal finance expert Lynette Khalfani-Cox, a.k.a. The Money Coach, has been there herself. That's one of the reasons she's passionate about leading the charge to help people over 50 reduce what they owe to creditors through AARP's month-long Pay Down Your Debt Challenge.

There's still time to learn more and join the debt challenge online community. Reply to the challenges and share your successes, seek inspiration from others and check out resources to help you tackle what you owe. As the poll suggests, you'll be in good company.

Photo by Cat Eden via Flickr Creative Commons

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