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.
The median household income hit $79,900 in the first quarter of 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That's almost $35,000 more than it was in 2000. But the typical American household now carries an average debt of $145,000.
The 28/36 Rule. A good rule-of-thumb to calculate a reasonable debt load is the 28/36 rule. According to this rule, households should spend no more than 28% of their gross income on home-related expenses. This includes mortgage payments, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and condo/POA fees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That means most American adults either carry a mortgage, owe on a car, face monthly student loan payments, roll over charges on their credit cards—or all of the above. And yet, over half of Americans surveyed (53%) say that debt reduction is a top priority—while nearly a quarter (23%) say they have no debt.
The average credit card holder in the U.S. had $5,668 in credit card debt in Q2 2021 — that's 1% higher than Q1 2021's $5,611 average. From the first Q1 2020 to Q2 2021, the average credit card debt per cardholder decreased by $766 or 12%. The average cardholder had $6,434 in Q1 2020.
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.
That's right, a debt-free lifestyle makes it easier to save! While it can be hard to become debt free immediately, just lowering your interest rates on credit cards, or auto loans can help you start saving. Those savings can go straight into your savings account, or help you pay down debt even faster.
Being debt free to start with means having minimal to no bad debts and average good debts. Being debt free doesn't mean you have no mortgage, bills, or car payment. It means you carry a manageable amount of debt, and are cognizant of your borrowing and DTI.
New Experian data finds consumers in their 20s and 30s have up to $27,251 in credit card, auto loans and student loan debt. Debt is part of the average American's life, and you can start to accumulate it as young as your 20s.
Credit bureaus suggest that five or more accounts — which can be a mix of cards and loans — is a reasonable number to build toward over time. Having very few accounts can make it hard for scoring models to render a score for you.
Here's the average debt balances by age group: Gen Z (ages 18 to 23): $9,593. Millennials (ages 24 to 39): $78,396. Gen X (ages 40 to 55): $135,841.
Respondents to Schwab's 2021 Modern Wealth Survey said a net worth of $1.9 million qualifies a person as wealthy. The average net worth of U.S. households, however, is less than half of that.
According to this survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the median retirement savings by age in the U.S. is: Americans in their 20s: $16,000. Americans in their 30s: $45,000. Americans in their 40s: $63,000.