American Consumer Debt Statistics – Updated 2020

Now more than ever, Americans are drowning in debt. Prior to the Great Recession of 2008, many Americans were struggling to keep their heads above water. When the bubble burst, those with the most debt were left drowning in a sea of financial insolvency. While the country has since recovered financially, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to derail the economy once more.

So, just how much debt does the average American have? The answers may surprise you. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at some eyebrow-raising statistics that illustrate America’s consumer debt problem. 

How Much Debt Does the Average American Have?: The Statistics

Consumer debt rose 6.9% to a record $4.19 trillion in December 2019. [1]

Of that debt, $3.099 trillion was non-revolving debt like auto and student loans. [1]

Today, credit card debt represents 26% of our total debt. [1]

More than 189 million Americans have credit cards. [2]

The average credit card holder in America has four different credit cards. [2]

The average credit card debt per household is $8,398. [2]

55% of Americans with credit cards are currently in credit card debt. [3]

Student loan debt has grown the fastest in America over the last decade. From 2009 to 2019, student loan debt increased by 113%. [4]

Connecticut leads the country in student debt. The average Connecticut resident has $38,500 of student loan debt. [2]

Auto loan debt is also growing quickly. From 2009 to 2019, auto loan debt has increased by 81%. [4]

As of 2018, the average American carried $90,460 in total debt. [4]

Those 25-34 carry the most credit card debt, with an average of $10,400. [5]

Of those with credit card debt, 62% of debtors are college graduates. [5]

While all other types of debt have increased, personal loans and home equity loans both decreased from 2009-2019. [4]

Despite increasing debt, average consumer debt as a percentage of total income has decreased by 27% from 2009-2019. [4]

Auto loan debt makes up 9.5% of total household debt. [6] 

At the start of 2020, auto loan debt stood at $1.2 trillion. [6]

North Dakota posted the fastest-growing debt among consumers, with a 76% increase from 2009-2019. [4]

Millennials lead all generations in percent increase in debt. Millennials saw their debt grow 58% from 2009 to 2019. [4] 

While millennials lead all generations in percent increase, baby boomers have much more debt than other generations, with an average of $135,841. [4]

Despite rising debt, delinquent accounts (accounts between 30-180 days past due) have decreased by 45.66% since 2009.

44.2 million Americans currently have student loan debt. [7]

The average student loan payment is $393 per month. [7]

10.8% of Americans with student loan debt are more than 90-days delinquent on payments. [7]

2.8 million Americans have student loans which are currently in forbearance. [7]

As of the start of 2020, Americans carry $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. [7]

Sources

[1] https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/

[2] https://www.debt.org/faqs/americans-in-debt/

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/17/55-percent-of-americans-have-credit-card-debt.html

[4] https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/consumer-debt-study/

[5] https://www.debt.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Demographics-of-Debt.png

[6] https://www.investopedia.com/personal-finance/american-debt-auto-loan-debt/

[7]https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2020/02/03/student-loan-debt-statistics/#781e3585281f