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Poll: Americans fear losing their quality of life

  • Story Highlights
  • Study: Owners' confidence in ability to pay mortgages drops 8 percentage points
  • Americans doubting their ability to pay off debt, including credit cards and car loans
  • Poll: Thirty-nine percent confident in ability to maintain standard of living in next year
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By Paul Steinhauser
CNN
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans are losing confidence in their ability to keep their current standard of living, a new national poll indicates.

Half of all homeowners are confident they can make their mortgage payments. That number is down since last year.

Half of all homeowners are confident they can make their mortgage payments. That number is down since last year.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday morning said they're very confident they'll be able to maintain their standard of living over the next year. That's down 6 percentage points from last year.

Half of all homeowners with a mortgage said they are very confident that they can continue to meet their mortgage payments, but that number is also down, by 8 percentage points, since last year. Americans' confidence in their ability to pay other debts, such as credit cards and car loans, also has dropped in the past year.

And there is much less confidence in being able to save for specific goals. One in four parents of children younger than 18 said they are very confident in their ability to pay for college. And one in five Americans who have not already retired said they are very confident in their ability to save enough to retire comfortably.

"As the nation's economy has gotten worse, Americans' confidence in their own economic prospects has slipped, and it is lowest when it comes to long-term goals such as saving for college or retirement," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

"The public is fairly confident on personal matters such as paying off mortgages or other debts and on maintaining their standard of living, but the last year has seen a worrisome erosion of confidence."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted March 12 through Sunday, with 1,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

All About Consumer Credit and Debt

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