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EOS Debt Survey 2015

Insights into the current debt situation in Germany, the USA and Russia

Debt junkie or debt avoider? In the EOS Debt Survey 2015, market research institute Icon Added Value investigated personal attitudes to debt, handling of debt and the current financing situation of a representative group of individuals in Germany, Russia and the USA. The poll results produced various debtor typologies like the debt avoider, the mortgage debtor, the occasional debtor or the debt junkie.

Basically, most people avoid debt

“I take on debt only in absolute emergencies” – this is the credo of the debt avoider, the most common type of debtor in Germany, Russia and the USA. For 55 percent of this group, debt is an emotional burden, and around two-thirds try to keep their debt to a minimum. In respect of the other debtor categories there were however distinct differences between the various countries. In Germany for example, the mortgage debtor is the most common type at 26 per-cent, whereas in Russia only two percent belong to this category. However, Russia has the most occasional debtors (26 percent), who tend to avoid debt in principle but will incur it in order to be able to afford something.

The majority of “debt junkies” live in the USA

The USA has the most careless debtors (20 percent) – who rarely have a bad conscience if they cannot pay back their debts. At 15 percent, America also has the largest number of debt junkies, who shift responsibility for their debts onto others conspicuously often.

Good debts and bad debts

What kinds of things are worth getting into debt for and for what purposes is it scorned? In all three countries the most acceptable reasons for taking on debt are to buy a property and for expenditure on health. Whereas Russians and Germans also consider renovation of a house or flat to be a worthwhile reason for debt, Americans would tend not to borrow money for this purpose. Cosmetic procedures are regarded as the least justifiable reason for getting into debt; only Russians are somewhat more tolerant in this regard.


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