Americans viewing debt in a negative light

In the wake of the recession, a new poll finds many consumers have come to view having personal debts as a negative attribute.

Almost half of those polled said that the recession had made them feel a newfound urgency to cut their personal debt levels and reduce spending if necessary, according to results from Allstate and National Journal. A full 56 percent said that borrowing was an "obstacle" to the American Dream rather than a way to achieve it.

"The consistent preference expressed in the poll for reducing debt — both individually and collectively — suggests that, like the Depression, the Great Recession could have a lasting impact on how today's Americans borrow and spend throughout their lives," said Ronald Brownstein, editorial director of National Journal Group.

In addition, just one in eight respondents said that they had borrowed additional funds to get by in recent months.

A reduction in the number of people willing to accumulate debt could bring about a major change in consumers' credit reports, allowing them to build up their scores through responsible credit use.