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Ohio State study says youth gain esteem from debt

A new trend in how debt is viewed seems to be emerging among America's youth. Research conducted at Ohio State indicates that young adults in the country appear to gain a boost in self-esteem when they turn to credit to finance their lifestyle. The researchers say young adults from poor and middle-class backgrounds tend to find a temporary but powerful rise in self-esteem from taking on more debt.

The sociologists say young adults in their early to mid 20s feel using debt to finance their lifestyle makes them feel more prepared for the future. The researchers caution, however, the boost may be temporary and cease when repayment of the debt reaches full bore. Mounting debt can, in itself, lead to financial distress. Those that have taken on large amounts of debt may need to seek some form of debt relief when bills significantly exceed income.

Most Ohioans, like most Americans, can begin to feel powerless when burdened with excessive credit card debt and other financial obligations. The researchers some many younger adults believe the future interest payments are worth the cost of the liberating current lifestyle debt can provide.

Some experts caution the trend toward the buy now, pay later attitudes in America's younger generation can lead to future financial distress. The researchers say many of the young adults have expectations that their future income will be sufficient to cover their youthful debt.

A difficulty can easily arise if young adults grow so accustomed to using debt to finance their lifestyle that it can become habit forming. Fox Business tells of a West Coast man whose habit of relying on credit cards spiraled out of control after financing a new business on consumer personal cards. The collection calls began to increase toward a daily occurrence. Ultimately the man had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Debt can be overbearing at any age. Mounting debt, bill collectors and a tough economy can all lead to excessive debt. An experienced Cincinnati bankruptcy attorney can help an individual buried in debt to review their financial situation and discuss options that may be available in an individual situation to find relief from overbearing debt.

Source: Fox Business, "My Credit, Myself: Young Adults Using Credit to Boost Self-Esteem," Kelly Dilworth 8 Jul 2011

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