Home > Personal Finance > The Top Debt Ceiling Concern: Nothing

Comments 0 Comments

Should Congress fail to reach a debt ceiling agreement and the government defaults on its debt, many Americans are concerned about mortgage rates rising and the potentially negative impact on their salaries and job security, according to a new Credit.com survey.

The survey consisted of two questions — one pertaining to interest rates, the other to personal assets that could be affected by a default — and respondents were asked to choose their greatest worries among several options. The most common answer to both questions: None.

That’s right: Roughly 3 in 10 Americans are not worried about any interest rates rising or any negative impact on their assets in the event of the government defaulting.

The survey, conducted Oct. 11 to 13 by GFK Custom Research for Credit.com, polled a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans, ages 18 and older. The resulting data has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Debt Ceiling Worries

Higher Income, More Concerned

Those concerned about mortgage interest rates and their employment were a close second to those who expressed no worries: 25.5% listed rising mortgage rates as a top concern, and 23.8% said they were most worried about risks to their job security. For comparison, 29.6% had no worries about rising interest rates, and 28.1% weren’t concerned about impacts on their personal financial portfolios.

Those with no worries over changes to interest rates or personal finances were most likely to make less than $25,000 a year. In that income bracket, 44.2% weren’t worried about interest rates rising, and 46.6% had no specific anxiety over a default’s effect on their financial portfolio.

However, the higher the income, the more concern about how personal assets would be affected by a default — only 15.9% of Americans with an annual salary of more than $75,000 answered “none” for that question. Respondents in that high-income bracket were also most worried about interest rates, though consumers in the income range of $25,000 to $49,900 were nearly as anxious about rising interest rates.

Age & a Shift in Priorities

The youngest and oldest age groups were least likely to worry about the potential scenarios presented by the survey. While 37.4% of 18- to 24-year-olds had no concerns about rising interest rates, 29.2% said they worried about rising rates for student loans. More than any other age group, Americans 65 years and older said they were worried about a potential spike in credit card interest rates (25%), but 42.4% had no concerns.

For the other age groups (25 to 34, 35 to 49 and 50 to 64), if they were worried about any changes in interest rates, it was most likely over mortgages. The 25- to 34-year olds were most concerned, with 38.1% choosing the answer “mortgage rates” for the first question.

As for worries over the potential impact on personal finances, all age groups except 65 and older were most likely to answer “none” or “salary and job security.” Only 4.2% of older Americans answered with job security, but they were more worried about their investment portfolio than any other age group (35.8% of that age group selected this as their top concern, while 38.2 % weren’t particularly worried about anything).

Many of the age-group trends made sense, as priorities and assets shift over a lifetime. Worry over investments, the ability to retire at a desirable time and potential increases in home equity interest rates tended to be more common among older age groups. Meanwhile, younger Americans were significantly more concerned about their job security, student loan interest rates and personal loan interest rates than older respondents.

Top image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team