Still, people are weary about their job security, said Matt Schulz, senior analyst at CreditCards.com. "This shows there is a real debt problem in America and it's not improving very much."
The survey also found that the number of people who are debt free increased to 22 percent this year from 14 percent the year earlier. In fact, Schulz said that, surprisingly, individuals making up to $30,000 a year are the most likely to say they are free of debt.
Those making at least $75,000 per year are the least likely to be free of debt, the survey said. However, they are also the ones most confident in their ability to pay off that debt, while those making less money are more likely to feel trapped by it. People with no children were also more likely to say they'll never get out of debt than parents.
Among those in debt, about half, or 48 percent, said they'll remain that way into their 60s.
"Even [for] people who don't see themselves getting out of debt, it's important not to be paralyzed by hopelessness," he said. Schulz advised people in debt to take certain small steps toward paying it down, including making a budget and asking for lower interest rates on credit cards or transferring to a zero-percent interest card.