The average American has $90,460 in debt, according to a 2021 CNBC report. That included all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt.
Americans have paid down over $100 Billion of credit card debt since the start of the pandemic, but the average monthly credit card debt per cardholder is still $5,668 as of Q2 2021.
The average U.S. household with debt now owes $155,622, or more than $15 trillion altogether, including debt from credit cards, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, student loans and other household obligations — up 6.2% from a year ago.
So how much non-mortgage debt do Americans have? According to Northwestern Mutual's 2021 Planning & Progress Study, U.S. adults aged 18 and over who carry debt hold an average of $23,325 outside of their mortgages.
The average American holds $53,897 in personal debt, much of it tied up in mortgages. If mortgages are excluded, the average debt would drop to $16,720. Student loans and car loans make up the bulk of the non-mortgage personal debt, and the average person has more than $5,000 of debt in each category.
A good goal is to be debt-free by retirement age, either 65 or earlier if you want. If you have other goals, such as taking a sabbatical or starting a business, you should make sure that your debt isn't going to hold you back.
Federal Student Loan Debt by Age
Federal debt among 24-and-under borrowers has declined 3.6% since 2017. Federal borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average debt of $33,570. Debt among 25- to 34-year-olds has increased 6.1% since 2017. 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average federal debt of $43,208.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends you keep your debt-to-income ratio below 43%. Statistically speaking, people with debts exceeding 43 percent often have trouble making their monthly payments. The highest ratio you can have and still be able to obtain a qualified mortgage is also 43 percent.
Even though household net worth is on the rise in America (at $141 trillion in the summer of 2021)—so is debt. The total personal debt in the U.S. is at an all-time high of $14.96 trillion. The average American debt (per U.S. adult) is $58,604 and 77% of American households have at least some type of debt.
Gen X — Average debt: $140,643
With ages ranging from 41 to 56, Gen Xers have a wide range of life experiences, along with the highest average debt of any generation. Many members of Gen X are sending their kids to college for the first time, while still carrying an average student loan balance of just over $45,000.
How much money has the average 30-year-old saved? If you actually have $47,000 saved at age 30, congratulations! You're way ahead of your peers. According to the Federal Reserve's 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, the median retirement account balance for people younger than 35 is $13,000.
The average American's savings varies by household and demographic. As of 2019, per the U.S. Federal Reserve, the median transaction account balance (checking and savings combined) for the American family was $5,300; the mean (or average) transaction account balance was $41,600.
Consumers in the United States had 15.24 trillion dollars in debt as of the third quarter of 2021, the majority of which was home mortgages, at 10.44 trillion U.S. dollars. Student loan debt was the second largest component, totaling 1.58 trillion U.S. dollars.
In 2020, the average credit card credit limit was $30,365, according to Experian data. This was a 3% decrease from the previous year's average. However, average credit card limits also vary by age range, and people who are new to credit or rebuilding their credit may have lower credit limits.
There are four primary sources of American debt: home mortgages, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt. Of that $14 trillion dollar debt we mentioned, a little more than $9 trillion can be credited to mortgages. Another $1.3 trillion comes from car loans, which have had low-interest rates since 2008.
Since they are now the country's largest generation—83.1 million people, according to the US Census Bureau—the millennial debt crisis is a national issue. Millennials are the most indebted generation in history. A quarter of all US citizens aged 18 to 34 owe more than $30,000.
“If you want to find financial freedom, you need to retire all debt — and yes that includes your mortgage,” the personal finance author and co-host of ABC's “Shark Tank” tells CNBC Make It. You should aim to have everything paid off, from student loans to credit card debt, by age 45, O'Leary says.
If you're carrying serious credit card debt — like $15,000 or more — you're not alone. The average household with revolving credit card debt — that is, debt that they carry from one month to the next — had more than $7,000 worth of revolving balances in 2019. That's just the average.
Bottom line, if your credit card debt is only a little over $2,000, don't worry about it. I'm sure you'll get sick somewhere along the line and owing $2,000 will seem quaint.
What is the 50-20-30 rule? The 50-20-30 rule is a money management technique that divides your paycheck into three categories: 50% for the essentials, 20% for savings and 30% for everything else.
Is being debt-free the new rich? Yes, as long as you have money and assets, in addition to no debts. Living loan-free is a fantastic way to stay financially secure, and it is possible for anyone.
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.