"According to the poll, 21 percent of those with debt predict they will never be rid of it. That's up from 18 percent in 2014 and 9 percent in 2013 who said their debt heading into the holiday season seemed insurmountable," reported Consumer website Creditcards.com, which carried out the survey.
People's outlook on debt varied according to demographic factors, including race, age and employment status. While 32 percent of unemployed people said they had no debt, just 16 percent of employed people said the same.
Hispanics (28 percent) were the most likely to be debt-free, followed by whites (26 percent). However, whites were also more likely than average to say they would never escape their debts, the survey found.
The pollsters remarked that since the recession in 2008-09 many people have reduced their debts and adopted healthier financial habits after years of becoming overextended on credit.
"In the second quarter of 2015, for instance, the percentage of US consumers who pay off their credit card balances every month reached a post-recession high of nearly 30 percent."