Facts about Credit Card Debt in the United States

The statistics that go along with credit card and consumer debt are staggering. But do you know how bad things really are?

Consumer debt is running rampant in our society. People are choosing to charge stuff on their credit cards all the time even when they cannot afford to pay it off. Credit cards are maxed out and millions of Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt. If you are interested in just how bad it is, here are some facts about credit cards, credit debt and more.
• According to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, each American has an average of more than $16,600 in debt, excluding mortgage debt.

• If you add up the total consumer debt in the United States, it would be more than $2.55 trillion dollars. Those figures are from 2007 and it has probably only gotten worse since then.

• More than eight percent of American households owe more than $9,000 on their credit cards.

• Only about 40 percent of American credit card holders have a balance of less than $1,000.

• About 15 percent of American credit card holders have balances that total more than $10,000.

• The typical American consumer has about $19,000 worth of credit available to them when combining the available credit on their credit cards. More than 50 percent or cardholders are using less than a third of their total available limit.

• 28 percent of credit card holders surveyed said they are having a difficult time paying off their balances.

• More than 75 percent of undergraduates in college have at least one credit card. Of those, the average college student has more than $2,000 in debt and they will accrue more than $20,000 more debt in student loans during their undergraduate years.

• The average young adult household in the United States pays about 25 percent of their income toward debt. That is an increase of about four percent from 1992.

• Between 1992 and 2001, the average credit card debt among young adults went up by 55 percent.

• In the United States alone, there are more than one billion credit cards in circulation.

• Nearly one quarter of all the bankruptcies filed in recent years are done by consumers under the age of 25.

• The majority of Americans are not saving enough money to fund their retirement years.

• Lenders now collect more than $7 billion a year in late fees and other penalties. That’s up from only $1.7 billion in 1996.

Some of these numbers are probably pretty shocking to you. If they are not, they probably should be. Americans are spending more and more money that they do not have to buy stuff that they do not need. How do you fit into these statistics? Would you say you are above or below the average American consumer when it comes to credit card debt?

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