Debt Ceiling Explained: What You Need to Know Asset Strategy

Basics of the Debt Ceiling

The national debt ceiling pertains to the maximum amount of funds the U.S. Government can borrow to cover its expenditures. These expenses include various items such as military salaries and purchases, tax refunds, Social Security and Medicare benefits, and interest payments on any outstanding debt. The country currently operates with a budget deficit, which means that its expenditure exceeds its earnings. Thus, the government is obliged to borrow from other nations to cover its expenses.[1]

The nation has a limit on the amount of money it can borrow, known as the debt ceiling. Although it can be increased by Congress, political and budget disagreements in Congress can make it challenging to come to agreements.[2]

How Does the Debt Ceiling Affect You?

If the United States hits the debt ceiling and is unable to borrow more money, it will default on its loans. This, in turn, would lead to a series of severe consequences for consumers, which may include but may not be limited to:

  1. A delay in federal benefits, such as Medicare and Social Security payouts.[3]
  2. A pay freeze for military personnel and individuals employed in government-funded jobs.[4]
  3. A recession could occur that could lead to job cuts and widespread unemployment.[5]
  4. A surge in interest rates. In the same way someone gets a higher interest rate if they are less credit-worthy, the U.S. Treasuries would need to increase their interest rates to entice more buyers of the debt. Remember, Treasury bond interest rates are often connected via market forces to the average person’s interest rates on home loans, business loans, and credit cards. Therefore, even the average American may experience an increase in costs of debt if the country’s budget were to default.[6]

What Should You Do?

If you’re looking for ways to help preserve your finances in case of an economic downturn, consulting a financial professional is a smart move. A financial advisor can assist you in sorting out your finances, assessing potential risks, and keeping tabs on the current economic climate, helping you gut-check your decision-making. For a complimentary assessment of your financial situation, get in touch with one of our advisors today.



This is for informational purposes only, does not constitute individual investment advice, and should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance.

Content regarding social security is not associated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. Past performance and forecasts do not guarantee future results.

Advisory Services offered through Asset Strategy Advisors, LLC (ASA), an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor.  Securities offered through Concorde Investment Services, LLC. (CIS), member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance Services offered through Asset Strategy Financial Group, Inc. (ASFG)”. ASA, CIS and ASFG are separate companies.

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