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Nearly One in Five Americans Say They'll Be in Debt Forever

The golden years are going to feel a bit tarnished for almost one in five Americans.

The golden years are going to feel a bit tarnished for almost one in five Americans.

In a personal finance survey published Wednesday, 18 percent of the respondents said they expect to be in debt for the rest of their lives. That is double the percentage who expected that in May 2013, the last time the survey was conducted. Mortgage delinquencies dropped for the eleventh consecutive quarter, to 3.36 percent, in the third quarter of 2014, and credit card delinquency was at 1.34 percent, according to TransUnion. Credit card indebtedness has increased moderately since the 2013 CreditCards.com survey. Student loan debt rose from an aggregate of $390 billion at the end of 2005 to $966 billion at the end of 2012, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Survey respondents who expect to pay off their debts anticipate doing so at an average age of 53. Besides the 18 percent who expect to owe money forever, another 25 percent expect to be in debt until at least age 61. Older respondents are more likely to believe their debt will be with them forever. Some 31 percent of those over age 65 expect to be lifelong debtors, compared to 22 percent of those aged 50 to 64 and just 6 percent of millennials aged 18 to 29.

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Study: 35% of Americans have debt in collections

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-- Kelley Holland, CNBC

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