Credit card debt statistics
This article explores credit card debt statistics in the US, examining various factors such as state, age, educational level, income, etc.
Credit card debt by state
According to the data provided by Experian, there is a notable difference in the average credit card balance among various states in the United States. Alaska has the highest average credit card debt at $6,787, while Iowa has the lowest at $4,609.
The top 5 states with the highest credit card balances are primarily located in the Northeast and South regions of the United States, while the top 5 states with the lowest credit card balances are primarily located in the Midwest and South regions.
What is the average credit card debt in America?
The average American family carries $6,270 in credit card debt, according to data from a Federal Reserve study on consumer finances. But that number doesn't tell the whole story. Credit card debt levels can look very different from one family to the next, depending on things like:
Income - Higher-earning households may be able to manage more debt, while lower incomes make even small balances harder to pay off.
Age - Younger adults tend to have higher credit card balances, especially if they're still establishing their careers.
Location - Cost of living differences around the country mean debt burdens vary geographically. What's manageable debt in a rural area could be crushing in an expensive metro area.
So while $6,270 is the average, credit card debt should be evaluated on an individual basis, considering each family's unique financial profile and capacity to take on revolving balances.
How much credit card debt is too much?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer for how much credit card debt is too much. It really depends on your individual financial situation. A good general guideline is that your total credit card debt should not exceed 20-30% of your annual income.
For example, if you make $50,000 per year, you'll want to keep your total credit card balances under $10,000-$15,000. Anything above that starts to become a heavy burden that's tough to pay off.
The key is not to let your balances snowball out of control. Try to pay more than the minimum due each month and avoid relying on credit cards to fund a lifestyle you can't afford. With smart limits and money management, you can use credit responsibly without getting overwhelmed by high-interest debt.
How to pay off $10,000 credit card debt
Getting out from under $10,000 in credit card debt may seem daunting, but with some planning and discipline, it's certainly possible. Here are some steps that can help:
Stop using your credit cards until the balances are paid off, so you're not continuing to add to the debt.
Shift as many expenses as possible to cash or debit in order to avoid accumulating new credit card charges.
Make a budget to maximize the amount you can put towards paying down your credit card balances each month.
Pay more than the minimum payment due on your cards so that you are chipping away at the principal debt.
Look into transferring or consolidating balances to a lower interest credit card so you can save on finance charges.
Stay focused and committed to making consistent payments till the debts are repaid.
With determination and a clear payment plan, you can have that $10,000 credit card debt paid off faster than you expect. Paying off credit card debt takes discipline but it's one of the best financial moves you can make.
Credit card debt by age
|Age||Average credit card debt|
|75 and above||$3,177|
Credit Card Debt by Age (CNBC Data)
According to a report by CNBC, the average credit card debt varies by age group in the United States. Generation X (ages 40-55) has the highest average credit card debt at $7,155, while Generation Z (ages 18-23) has the lowest average credit card debt at $1,963.
Credit card debt by educational level
|Educational level||Average credit card debt|
|High school or less||$2,266|
|College or postgraduate||$6,179|
Average credit card debt by education (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Data)
Unlocking insights from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's 2022 Making Ends Meet report, a compelling association emerges between educational attainment and credit card balances.
The data showcases a consistent trend wherein individuals with a college or postgraduate degree bear higher credit card balances, with an average of $6,179.
On the other end, those with a high school diploma or less carry comparatively lower balances, averaging at $2,266.
These findings imply a plausible link between education and credit card debt, underscoring the potential influence of educational background on financial behaviors and debt management strategies.
Credit card debt by race
|Racial group||Average credit card debt|
Average credit card debt by race (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Data)
The CFPB report also shows that there are notable disparities in average credit card debt among different racial groups.
According to the data, Asian individuals carry the highest average credit card debt at $6,540, while black individuals have the lowest average credit card debt among the listed racial groups at $4,002.
Credit card debt by income
|Income level||Average credit card debt|
|$0 - $16,290||$3,830|
|$16,290 - $35,630||$4,650|
|$35,630 - $59,050||$4,910|
|$59,050 - $95,700||$6,990|
|$95,700 - $151,700||$9,780|
|$151,700 - $290,160||$12,600|
Average credit card debt by income (ValuePenguin Data)
According to data from ValuePenguin, the average credit card debt varies by income level in the United States. Individuals in the highest annual income percentile (90th to 100th) had an average credit card debt of $12,600, which is more than three times as much as households making the least 1.
It is important to note that these numbers represent the average balance carried by American families of different income levels that have credit card debt. Additionally, credit card debt can vary significantly based on factors such as age and location.
Credit card debt by gender
|Gender||Credit card debt|
Credit card debt by gender (Investopedia Data)
According to data from Investopedia, men have slightly more credit card debt than women on average. Men have an average credit card debt of $6,357 while women have an average credit card debt of $6,232 1. It is important to note that these numbers represent the average balance carried by American men and women that have credit card debt.
Is credit card debt rising in the US?
Credit card debt has been steadily rising in the United States over the last five years. According to Federal Reserve data, total revolving credit card debt has increased from $884 billion in 2018 to over $1 trillion by 2022. The average credit card balance per household has also climbed during this period, going from $5,259 in 2018 up to $6,361 in 2022. This represents an increase of more than $140 billion in total balances and over $1,100 per household over just a five year span.
|Year||Total Credit Card Debt||Average Credit Card Balance|
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Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.