Average Credit Card Debt Statistics

(Updated August 2019) 

The average credit card debt continues to rise worldwide. An American, on average, has 2.7 credit cards with that number continuing to grow. With reward cards promising high returns, it is easy to see why so many people are turning to credit card use. Reward cards promote the use of credit cards through the prizes and cash back that they offer at a rate that is an all time high. With more credit cards in use comes more money spent on those cards. On this page, we will breakdown the average credit card debt by country, state, gender, age, generation, income level and race.

Average U.S. Household Consumer Debt Profile:

  • Credit Card Debt - $5,331
  • Mortgage Debt - $148,060
  • Student Loan Debt - $33,654
  • Car/Auto Loan - $18,588
  • Total - $205,633
  • Countrywide U.S. Revolving Debt that Americans carry - $1.03 trillion
  • Average Mortgage Debt % on loans - 4.12% on 30 year fixed, 3.65% on 15 year fixed
  • Average per year spent on credit card interest - $753.80
  • Average %interest an American has on credit card debt - 14.14%
  • Total credit card debt for all Americans - $974.2 billion

Average Credit Card Debt by Country 

This is a breakdown of the average credit card debt statistics of the top 10 countries in GDP. Theoretically, one might expect the countries that have the lowest amount of credit card debt to be the top GDP country. However, that is not the case, as this list is ranked from 1-10 in GDP, but the credit card debt for each country does not line up with the GDP rankings.

average credit card debt by country

Average Credit Card Debt by State 

Some state rankings may be surprising, as the general trend is that the higher populated states have higher credit card debt. However, the state with the highest credit card debt, Alaska, has the 3rd lowest state population.

Average credit card debt by state

Average Credit Card Debt by Gender 

By a fairly wide margin, females carry less credit card debt than males. This is most likely due to women being more likely to carry a debit card than a credit card, while men are more likely to have a credit card than a debit card.

Average credit card debt by gender

Average Credit Card Debt by Age 

A breakdown of credit card debt by age is probably the most predictable categorical breakdown on this list. 

The stats on people under 35 is dropped by millennials that do not have credit cards, therefore bringing down the average household credit card debt. However, being in the middle of life and spending the most on credit cards, 45-54 year olds have the highest average.

average credit card debt by age

Average Credit Card Debt by Generation 

Generation, similar to age, makes sense according to the stage of life that they are in. Baby Boomers and Generation X, being in the middle of life, tend to use the most credit cards and spend the most on them.

average credit card debt by generation

Average Credit Card Debt by Income 

The breakdown of credit card debt by income level increases at a very steady and consistent rate. It makes sense, too, that with more money the average household carries and makes, the more they will spend.

average credit card debt by age

Average Credit Card Debt by Race 

average credit card debt by race

Credit card debt statistics


downloads and resources

Data Resources

  • creditkarma.com
  • creditdonkey.com
  • chinabankingnews.com
  • ceicdata.com
  • fool.co.uk
  • cbc.ca
  • worldatlas.com
  • debt.org
  • valuepenguin.com
  • WalletHub.com
  • Fortune.com

Resource Downloads

Download web optimized versions of our data charts and infographics.

Why Credit Card Debt Continues to Rise

Total credit card debt in America continues to rise as people continue to sign up for more consumer credit cards. 183 million Americans now have credit cards, and that number continues to rise year after year. 

The amount of consumer debt resulting from the constant increase in credit card usage will continue to increase as well. The average US credit card debt is at $6,741 a person.

As more credit cards are introduced to the public, more purchases are made. As more purchases are made, more money is spent, and a good majority of that money becomes debt as customers realize that they’ve spent more than they could afford.

According to The Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, less families are paying down credit card debt than in the past, even with more families having credit cards.

Ever since credit cards were introduced, people have bought first and worried about paying back second. 

People have always bought products that they think they can afford with a credit card, only to find out that they’ve gone beyond what they can afford when the credit card bill hits them.

Your total outstanding revolving credit card debt will continue to grow as long as the credit card account is open. Revolving credit isn’t a bad thing by itself, but when it becomes revolving debt, it can become a concern.

Another way that credit card debt can grow is through credit card fraud. Criminals can max out a victim's card and many times cause that victim to go into credit card debt. So if you have a credit card, make sure you protect yourself from these hackers with some sort of anti credit card theft technology.

Finally, another likely reason for the growing national average debt is the fact that reward cards continue to rise, as well as the cash back credit card or reward percentage with each card. 

Some will see a high percentage associated with their credit card and figure that if they spend more, they’ll get more back or get closer to a reward that they crave.

Ways to Avoid Credit Card Debt

The answer to avoiding credit card debt is generally very simple. Don’t spend more money than you have and don’t fall for all the rewards cards and cash back cards out there. Compare cards to find the one that is best for you.

Another smart way to avoid building credit card debt is to keep up with your credit card payments. Don’t slack off when you get your month to month credit card statements. 

Pay them immediately and don’t let them pile up on you. People tend to get in trouble when they wait to pay off their credit cards, only to see that bill pile up if not paid quickly. 

Getting behind on your credit card payments can lead to credit card delinquency and higher delinquency rates.

One of the biggest ways people accumulate credit card debt is through using it to obtain a cash advance. 

Using credit card accounts to get cash is very dangerous. This is largely because it is a last resort for most people that are using a credit card for this purpose. 

There’s no reason to use a credit card for cash if you have the money in a standard checking account. 

Conclusion

Paying off credit card debt is obviously very important in many different aspects, including turning bad credit score into excellent credit score and keeping your credit cards interest rate as low as possible. A low interest rate will result in you saving money through smaller credit card payments.

Just as managing student loans or business loans can lead to an improved credit score, so can deciding to pay off debt accumulated from credit cards.

Most credit cards consumers have some sort of debt. The average credit scores in America is 704 which qualifies as a good credit score. American households are, though, building more and more credit card debt, with the average Americans owing $5,331.

Carrying credit card debt can cause personal problems in addition to financial problems. It can cause personal stress and add stress to a family or marriage as household debt adds up. 

With that in mind, if you have outstanding debts resulting from credit cards, we recommend getting aid from someone who specializes in debt management to help you pay off that debt or reach a debt settlement and give you saving money tips.

Sure, there are ways to move the credit card debt, like performing a balance transfer. While that  might help move the debt, it won't pay it off or clear it. Using a balance transfer card could even further complicate problems by adding to your debt with a transfer fee for each transfer.

Credit card debt is something to stay as far away from as possible. If not paid off in a timely fashion, it can result in higher auto loan, personal loan and mortgage rates. Even health insurance, life insurance and some car insurers have higher rates for those with outstanding credit card debt. It will not, however, affect social security for those that are receiving it.

If you do get into credit card debt, be sure to pay it off as quickly as possible, so that it does not negatively affect you long term.