Our Debt Burden

Debt Remains No. 1 Cause of Financial Stress

Survey: More than 7,000 people across the U.S. reveal the biggest financial burden among Americans in 2017

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The prospect of paying off debt remains the No. 1 cause of financial stress in the U.S., found a new survey by personal finance website GOBankingRates.

Everyday costs (like groceries and utilities) and the cost of healthcare follow closely behind as the second- and third-greatest financial concerns among Americans.

In 2016, GOBankingRates conducted a similar survey with slightly different answer choices. However, responses from both surveys confirmed that lingering debt is the No. 1 financial stressor for the second consecutive year.


What is your Number One stress-factor?

To determine the cause of financial stress, GOBankingRates surveyed more than 7,000 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Respondents were asked the following question: “Of the following, what is your No. 1 cause of financial stress?”

Respondents could choose one of the following answers (includes percentage of respondents who elected this choice):

  • Debt – 23.47 percent
  • Everyday Costs – 19.38 percent
  • Healthcare – 17.91 percent
  • Taxes – 12.65 percent
  • Housing – 11.11 percent
  • Education – 9.18 percent
  • Family – 6.39 percent

For more details on methodology and full survey details, visit: The No. 1 Cause of Financial Stress in Every State

Additional Study Insights

California has the highest debt balance per person of any state, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Education remains the top source of financial stress in Hawaii, most likely due to a sharp rise in tuition prices from $4,302 in 2004 to $10,671 in 2016.

The average monthly health insurance premium in Vermont is among the highest in the U.S., making healthcare the top financial worry in the state.



About GOBankingRates
GOBankingRates.com is a personal finance news and features website dedicated to helping visitors live a richer life. From tips on saving money to investing for retirement or finding a good interest rate, GOBankingRates helps turn financial goals into milestones and money dreams into realities. Its content is regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including MSN, MONEY, AOL Finance, CBS MoneyWatch, Business Insider and dozens of others. GOBankingRates specializes in connecting consumers with the financial institutions and products that best match their needs. Start your journey toward a rich mind and full wallet with us here.