However, far from debt being out of the ordinary, it may be a normal part of everyday life. In fact, studies suggest it's actually normal to owe large amounts of debt.
How much money does the average American owe? According to a 2020 Experian study, the average American carries $92,727 in consumer debt. Consumer debt includes a variety of personal credit accounts, such as credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and student loans.
A shocking 77% of Americans have some type of debt—that's nearly 8 out of every 10 people! And how many times have you heard one of these money myths: You need to have a good credit score! (No, you don't.)
How much debt is a lot? 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.
Too much debt can turn good debt into bad debt.
You can borrow too much for important goals like college, a home, or a car. Too much debt, even if it is at a low interest rate, can become bad debt. Carrying debt without a good plan to pay it off can lead to an unsustainable lifestyle.
Many people would likely say $30,000 is a considerable amount of money. Paying off that much debt may feel overwhelming, but it is possible. With careful planning and calculated actions, you can slowly work toward paying off your debt.
About 52% of Americans owe $2,500 or less on their credit cards. If you're looking at $5,000 or higher, you should really get motivated to knock out that debt quickly.
It's not at all uncommon for households to be swimming in more that twice as much credit card debt. But just because a $15,000 balance isn't rare doesn't mean it's a good thing. Credit card debt is seriously expensive. Most credit cards charge between 15% and 29% interest, so paying down that debt should be a priority.
The simple answer is that having minimal credit card debt is the best policy. The more complex answer: “it depends.” How much credit card debt is okay for one person may not be okay for the next – it all depends on your financial situation, your spending habits and your overall credit limits.
25—34 year olds = $78,396
Credit cards often have high interest rates that can cause debt to snowball. Younger millennials carry an average debt of $78,396, primarily due to credit card balances, according to Experian.
Kevin O'Leary, an investor on “Shark Tank” and personal finance author, said in 2018 that the ideal age to be debt-free is 45. It's at this age, said O'Leary, that you enter the last half of your career and should therefore ramp up your retirement savings in order to ensure a comfortable life in your elderly years.
When you have no debt, your credit score and other indicators of financial health, such as debt-to-income ratio (DTI), tend to be very good. This can lead to a higher credit score and be useful in other ways.
“It remains difficult for many to catch up.” 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.
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. While there are a couple of downsides to being debt-free, they are minimal.
On average, Americans carry $5,315 in credit card debt, but if your balance is much higher—say, $20,000 or beyond—you may be feeling hopeless. Paying off a high credit card balance can be a daunting task, but it's possible.
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.
A minimum payment of 3% a month on $15,000 worth of debt means 227 months (almost 19 years) of payments, starting at $450 a month. By the time you've paid off the $15,000, you'll also have paid almost as much in interest ($12,978 if you're paying the average interest rate of 14.96%) as you did in principal.
In order to pay off $4,000 in credit card debt within 36 months, you need to pay $145 per month, assuming an APR of 18%. While you would incur $1,215 in interest charges during that time, you could avoid much of this extra cost and pay off your debt faster by using a 0% APR balance transfer credit card.