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Securian: Debt Mountain Stands

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Consumers want to get out of debt but are having a hard time doing so.

Researchers at Securian Financial Group, a unit of Minnesota Mutual Companies Inc., St. Paul, Minn., have reported that finding in a summary of a recent Web-based survey of 1,204 U.S. adults.

Securian sponsored a similar survey in 2007.

Participants in the new survey were far less likely to think of debt as being a normal part of their lifestyles, but about 82% continue to have non-mortgage debt. That figure is about the same as it was in 2007, the Securian researchers report.

The percentage of baby boomers with at least $50,000 in non-mortgage debt has increased to 22%, from 10%. About one-third of all the participants owe $25,000 or more, and that level of debt is comparable to the debt levels reported in 2007.

Fewer than a quarter of the survey participants have applied for non-mortgage loans in the past 12 months, but the percentage of respondents with full-time employment has fallen to 48%, from 56%.

Household assets have dropped, and 46% of the participants said their household income barely covers necessities.