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Credit Card Debt in America: Five Interesting Facts

close up of credit card

For so many of us today, life often seems to boil down to work, work, work, and getting around to paying those bills! Finding time to relax can be challenging enough, not to mention carving out valuable moments to reflect on what is going on with your finances and doing some much-needed organization and planning for the future. Debt is a concern for most consumers in the US today. Credit cards can be a lifesaver when you are in a pinch, acting as a backup for when you are lacking cash or waiting for a paycheck, or serving as an emergency fund. They can also be of financial benefit when used strategically, with so many offers for points, bonus systems, cash rewards, and low or even zero interest rates. Unfortunately, credit cards can also be one of the fastest avenues to debt spiraling dangerously out of control—leading to bankruptcycollections lawsuits, and judgments.

A recent news article examining data from both the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve lists a variety of different statistics regarding credit card debt in the US, and we have pared down five different facts and figures you may find noteworthy:

  1. For 2017, revolving debt in the US totaled $1,022 billion, while consumer debt overall hovered at $3.9 trillion. Over 38 percent of households today are carrying credit card debt, with an average of $16,048 for those carrying balances.
  2. Geography seems to play a part in the amount of debt consumers carry. Individuals living on the West Coast and in the Northeast averaged credit card debts of around $8,000. As of last year, Alaskans topped out the averages for credit card debt at $ $10,091—outdoing Coloradoans with averages that are 23 percent less at $7,773. This is in stark contrast to credit-card holders in Iowa who have $3,885 in credit card debt on average. New Yorkers averaged $7,122, while Floridians carried average credit card debt of $6,887.
  3. Consumers with higher levels of income carried higher average levels of credit card debt; for instance, individuals with incomes in the $160,000 plus range carried around $11,200, while those with incomes of around $45,000 to $69,999 had average credit card debt of around $4,900, and at an income level of less than $24,999, credit card debt averaged at $3,000.
  4. Age and gender seem to play a significant role in how much debt is carried also. Consumers over 75 have the least amount of average credit card debt at $5,638, not surprisingly, while younger borrowers at 35 and less average $5808. Cardholders in the 45- to 54-year old range have the highest amount of average debt at $9,096. Along with this, men tend to have 22 percent more credit card debt than women, with a mean credit card debt of $7,407.
  5. Overall, consumers in the US today have a whopping 52 percent more credit card debt than ten years ago.

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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