What Is The Average Amount Of Debt And Payments For Americans With Credit Cards?

As of today over eighty million Americans have credit cards. Not just one, but the average cardholder carries around three of them at a time. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for a person to own as many as ten at once. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that the average amount of debt a single cardholder owes is roughly $8,000. When adding the entire household into the equation, the average comes out to be close to $15,000.

Trends show that those numbers are expected to increase over time. If we were to combine the total amount of debt owed to credit card companies the total would come out to be $8.5 billion dollars. That number only represents credit debt alone. Other payments include student loans and mortgages which come out to be 9.85 billion and 8 trillion respectively. American consumers owe over 11 trillion dollars combined.

How did the average get so high up there? First, let’s take a look at the typical price for a home and the median household income. A standard house costs about $175,000 total with a ten percent down-payment and four percent monthly mortgage rate. Results from a Census ACS survey in 2011 showed the average income to be about $50,500. Keep these totals in mind as you research the average amount spent each month in the list below.

The Average Amount Spent Per Month
Mortgage – $750
Property Tax – $150
Lawn Care – $50
Water – $35
Car – $650
Food – $250
Phone – $165
Electric/Gas – $125
Car Insurance – $150
Cable/Internet – $50
Other Living Expenses/Leisure – $700
Credit Card/Debt – $300

= $3375 Total

Of course, that number can vary from person to person, but it is the average after all. If the average income is $50,500, then monthly cash flow would be around $4,208 before taxes. Assuming the withholding rate is twenty percent, there’s only $3,366 per month, which is below the total amount due. People usually don’t want to spend all of their hard earned cash on their bills, so the simple solution is to use a credit card and pay it off slowly until the big tax return at the beginning of the next year. This plan never seems to work out as debt continues to stack until it completely overwhelms a person and they have to go bankrupt.

Even if you are making a bit more than the average person, the debt will creep up on you. This is especially true during times of emergency. There are a few steps you can take to better manage your finances in order to avoid falling into debt. The first step would be to stop using all but one credit card. There’s no need to have various cards with many different interest rates. After that, cut down on all of those leisure expenses. Although it is good to treat yourself to a night out, make it an occasion rather than part of your daily routine. If you’re still having problems, speak with a credit counselor to help you review your assets and liabilities. They will create a plan that will completely get you out of debt for good.

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