More than seven years after the end of the Great Recession, consumers are reluctant to take on more debt because they worry about their earnings and the economy, according to a Filene Research Institute study released Wednesday.

The Madison, Wis., think tank found more than half of the 1,164 adults surveyed last September said they plan to avoid debt unless completely necessary. However, they considered mortgages unavoidable.

More than 80% of respondents are worried about their current debt. They were stressed most by medical, credit card and student loan debt, and least by mortgage, entertainment and car debt.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.