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What Financial Independence Really Looks Like in 2017

Most Americans believe freedom from debt is essential for financial independence, which may explain why so few have achieved it.

June 28, 2017 Fort Lauderdale, FL – Seven in ten Americans believe that being debt-free is an essential component to financial independence. That may explain why only 22 percent believe they’ve achieved independence themselves. With average consumer debt levels at record highs, true financial independence is often just out of reach for millions of households.

Consolidated Credit wanted to know how Americans felt about financial independence in today’s financial landscape. They polled over 1,100 consumers who visited their website and/or social media channels and asked them for their perspectives. Almost nine out of ten (88%) respondents said the biggest roadblock to achieving financial independence was paying off credit card debt.

Coming in next was student loan debt with 21 percent of people stating that it was holding them back.  You can read full results in the Financial Independence and Debt Infographic.

Consolidated Credit asked what the American Dream is and how close people believed they were to achieving it:

“The American Dream is available to anyone willing to put forth the effort to get it. You can own a home, attend school and get a good education. Jobs are plentiful if you don’t mind working from the bottom up.”

For others, the current financial environment holds them back from the classic vision of financial independence:

“I have given up on the America Dream. Despite being highly skilled, I can’t seem to get out of the hole I am in. The way it was for my parents is not how it is today. I have to settle for less.”

For the most part, people believe the American Dream is still attainable. It just takes more work today to get there than it did for previous generations. Read more perspectives about financial independence and the American Dream on Consolidated Credit’s new website feature “Personal Perspectives on Financial Independence.”

About:Consolidated Credit is one of the nation’s largest credit counseling agencies. In 24 years, they have helped over 6.5 million people overcome challenges with debt and other financial issues. Their mission is to assist families throughout the United States to end financial crises and solve money management issues through education and professional counseling. Visit for more information.

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