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More Americans Stressed Over Debt; Minorities Lose Financial Footing

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — As the U.S. economic recovery begins to show signs of slowing, more Americans are facing mounting debt totals while their pocketbooks continue to shrink — and minorities may be the hardest hit.

A new Associated Press-GFK poll finds one in five adults worries about debt most or all of the time, with debt-related stress up 17 percent from a survey just last November.

Dr. Kelly Greco deals with depression and anxiety cases at the USC Counseling Center, and tells KNX 1070 she has seen more patients grow increasingly fearful of their personal finances during “The Great Recession”.

“As we’re waiting to see what happens with Congress, people are feeling like no matter what they do, they may lose their money and their having to spend credit cards with daily expenses,” said Greco.

The average American household now has approximately $14,687 in Average credit card debt alone — not including mortgage and car payments, student loans, and other expenses.

And while hardships aren’t limited by socioeconomic lines, a new Pew study shows the recession has taken its most dramatic financial toll on minorities.

Paul Taylor, executive VP of the Pew Research Center told KFWB 980’s Andi Marshall that home and stock values are the biggest drivers behind the widening racial gap in income equality.

“In 2009, the typical white household had 20 times the wealth of the typical black household and 18 times the wealth of the typical Hispanic household,” said Taylor.

He added the “lopsided” findings represent the biggest gap since the government began collecting such data nearly 25 years ago.

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