The debt in America is at its all-time high of $14.96 trillion and climbing higher with each passing day which can be seen from the American Debt Statistics.
The reason behind this is the U.S current account deficit and the high level of income disparity which has altered the structure and amount of American savings.
80% of American households have some kind of consumer debt. Debt in America can be divided into four categories; mortgage debt, student loan, credit card debt, and auto loans, while unpaid medical bills also add up to the debt Americans carry.
The most common reasons why people in America go into debt are medical costs, raising children, and home improvements.
Around 37% of couples delay children until they get financially stable and pay most of their debt.
In this article, we’ll be talking about American debt statistics you might be interested in knowing as a diligent citizen. Let’s get started!
American Debt Key Statistics
- 80% of Americans owe $14.96 trillion collectively.
- Excluding mortgages, the average consumer debt is $38,000.
- The household mortgage owed by an average American is $189,586.
- Mortgage debt is the biggest outstanding debt, with $9.44 trillion owed collectively.
- After the mortgage, the second biggest debt is student loans, with a total of $46,822 owed per household.
- The average auto loan debt is $27, 804 and the average credit card debt is $5135 per household.
- 2 out of 10 Americans use 50% of their income to pay their debts.
- 15% of Americans have a medical debt of $10,000.
- From birth to age 18, the cost of raising a child in America is $250,000 per year.
- 13% of Americans are expected to be in debt for their whole lives.
- Almost 19% of Americans have no emergency fund.
Also Read: Consumer Debt Statistics In America
Average American Debt Per Household
A study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reflects that mortgages and housing are the biggest expenses while mortgage debt is the biggest debt in America with $202,545 per household, followed by student loan debt with $58,112, an auto loan with $31,142, and credit card debt with $14,241.
A study has shown that 33% of your monthly income goes into paying mortgage repayment, bills & utilities, and house furnishings and repairs.
|Debt Type||Average Debt Per Household|
Average American Debt by Age
The average American is in debt of $90,460, including mortgage loan debt, student debt, credit card debt, and personal loans.
People younger than 35 owe about $67,400 of debt, most of which is comprised of student loans and credit card debt.
The biggest debt anyone can have varies depending on the age and stage of life.
However, as we look at the age groups as they get old, it makes sense that mortgages would be the prime source of debt for people between the ages of 35 to 44 as many people in this age group purchase houses, get married, and start families.
Here are the average American debt statistics by age group:
|Age group||Total Debt|
|18 to 23||$16,043|
|24 to 39||$87,448|
|40 to 55||$140,643|
|56 to 74||$97,290|
|75 and above||$41,281|
In the last five years, the Millennials have seen the largest debt. In 2015, an average millennial had $49,722 in debt, which increased to $78,396 with an increment of 58% by 2019.
Gen Z has the lowest of all but struggles more to pay, and the highest debt balance is of Gen X.
Average American Debt by Gender
Among many economic gains of women, one of the most prominent ones is having more debt than men. The median salary of men was 18% higher than women.
According to data shared by Crowdsourced, in 2021, women earned 82 cents for a dollar earned by men.
There are several reasons for this gender gap, but one of the biggest problems is that many start their career with huge financial holes.
About 58% of the student debt is owed by women, according to the National Center for Education studies and it takes them more than 2 years to pay off those loans.
Women over 65 have a median household retirement income of $47,244, which is only 83% of their male counterparts who have a median retirement income of $57,144.
Personal Bankruptcies In 2022 By State
|State||YTD Personal Bankruptcy Filings Per Capita (March 2022)|
|District of Columbia||0.41|
Average American Debt by Ethnicity
In general, minorities earn less than whites due to the racial wage gap and are most likely to face financial consequences stemming from their student debt.
Asians owe the highest amount of debt, followed by Whites and Indian Americans.
The debt that affects minorities the most is student debt. In 2021, Blacks have an average of $52,000 in student debt.
Nearly 40% of black students hold twice as much student debt as their white peers, followed by Hispanic and Asian students.
In 2021, the average credit card balance for white households was $6,940, while for black households it was $3,440, and for Hispanics, it was $5,510.
Here’s a quick look at the average total American debt by ethnicity:
Average American Debt by Income
The amount of debt is positively correlated with the level of income.
The higher your income scale is, the more likely you will carry debt, but of course, if you are earning good, you can pay it back with ease.
Top earners with the highest 10% of annual income have a median of $222,200 in debt, while those in the bottom 25% owe less than $20,900.
In the past 30 years, there’s only been a 30% growth in income, while 2 out of 10 Americans use 50% of their income to pay their debts.
Depending on where you live, your income might go far, and you might be strapped for cash due to the high living cost.
There are several states where the average debt-per-capita is higher than the average income. For example, the average debt in Hawaii is $18,025, higher than the average income.
The table below shows the average debt based on the income scale:
|Income Scale||Average Debt|
|$290,000 or more||$12,600|
|$152,000 to $290,999||$9,780|
|$95,00 to $151,999||$6,990|
|$59,000 to $94,999||$4,910|
|$35,000 to $58,999||$4,650|
Average American Debt by Family Type
Research has shown that being married lowers your chances of staying in debt than being single.
According to the C+R report, the median income for populated households was $90,500, while the median income for singles was $72,300.
Nearly, 43% of Married couples consider themselves more financially secure than 29% of singles.
A Consumer Services report also found that a single person between 35-44 with no kids had $3,693 in savings.
According to 2022, the lifetime cost of raising a child is approximately $272,049, which means raising a child with good education and good health can put you in debt for years.
Average American Debt by Region
On average, 75.4% of families are in debt in the northwest region of America compared to 77.8% of families in the west region.
Here is the percentage of families in debt by U.S region:
|Region||Percentage of families in Debt|
Average American Debt by Education
Higher education leads to higher income, and higher income means you’ll spend more, which means the higher your education level is, the more debt you have. 40 million Americans have student loan debt, and around 14% owe more than $50,000.
According to data from the Federal Reserve, Experian, and the Consumer Financial Bureau, people with college degrees carry $8,200 in credit card debt, while those who did not graduate carry an average of $4,700. On the other hand, high school graduates owe about $4,600.
Check out the table below to see the average student debt based on education level:
|Debt Type||Average Debt|
|Bachelor’s degree debt||$28,950|
|Graduate School debt||$71,000|
|Law school debt||$145,500|
|MBA student debt||$66,300|
|Medical School debt||$1,45,500|
|Dental School debt||$292,169|
|Pharmacy school debt||$179,514|
|Nursing school debt||$23,711|
|Veterinary school debt||$183,302|
HELOC & Average American Mortgage Debt 2022
Mortgage debt accounts for 70% of total consumer debt in America. As of September 2022, the mortgage loan rose to $1 trillion.
As far as HELOC loans are concerned, Americans had $340.11 billion in HELOC in 2020. However, in 2021, it fell by 13.1 percent, reaching $295.51 billion.
|Total mortgage debt, Q2 2022||$11.387 trillion|
|Average mortgage debt, 2021||$220,380|
|Average mortgage rate, Q2 2022||5.27%|
|Average (mean) HELOC value, (2021)||$39,556|
|Total home equity revolving debt, Q2 2022||$319 billion|
Average American Credit Card Debt 2022
|Total credit card debt 2022||$890 billion|
|Store card balance, 2021||$1,046|
|Credit card balance, 2021||$5,221|
|(Median) revolving credit card balance, 2019||$1,046|
|(Mean) revolving credit card balance, 2019||$6,271|
|Delinquency rate from commercial banks, 2021||4.80%|
Medical Debt in America
According to US American debt statistics data, the medical cost has increased to 33% while income has only grown to 30% shown in the past 10 years, which is the main reason that many families are under the burden of medical debt which is still unpaid.
Medical bills are not only expensive but also add up quickly in case there’s a medical emergency. 40% of Americans said that they could not afford an unexpected medical expense of $400, no wonder 15% of Americans are in medical debt of $10,000.
Most Americans rely on companies that sponsor private healthcare and government-created programs Medicare and Medicaid that provide healthcare to those who are without insurance.
Some people are paying for the insurance, and their expenses are out of range until their deductible is reached.
About 62% of the people reported that they face trouble paying their medical bills despite having health insurance at the time of the treatment.
The increased rate of interest and inflation is making it difficult to decrease the amount of total American debt.
However, in spite of this, there has been a slow growth in various types of debt, which shows that Americans are trying to be more careful with their spending.
Try to prioritize repaying your debt over anything else, as it will not only save you a lot of money in late fees, interest rates, etc. but will also improve your way of living.
What percentage of Americans owe debt?
Around 80% of Americans, that is, every 8 in 10 Americans, owe some kind of debt. $38,000 is the amount of average debt that Americans owe, excluding mortgage debt.
What is a good age to have your home loan paid off?
If you want to have financial freedom and less monetary stress, then you should try to pay off your home loan by the age of 45.
What should I do when all my debts are paid off?
Here are a few things that you can do if you have paid off all your debts and want to create more income:
- Increase your savings amount
- Start investing
- Start a side hustle
- Start saving for your retirement plan
- Create an emergency fund
- Stay away from taking any future loans
Amit Gupta is the founder of National Planning Cycles, a company that helps startups, individuals, and small businesses with their financial planning. He has a vast amount of experience in the finance sector, having managed Google Play accounts for some of the world’s most successful unicorns. Amit is an expert in his field, and he uses his knowledge to help others achieve their individual goals.