Average American Credit Card Debt
Average American credit card debt statistics are a bit staggering, even if they don't exactly reflect this tongue in cheek comment by Mad Magazine.
"The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments." ~ Mad Magazine
Our use of the credit card is not that many decades old. The first widely accepted credit card was the American Express card, introduced in 1958. We quickly developed a love of credit, so by 2004 there were 1.4 billion credit cards in circulation in the US alone.
The credit card industry wants our love affair to grow. In 2005, over 6 billion credit card offers were found in our mailboxes, an average of 6 offers per US household per month.
Why are credit card companies so anxious for our business? Could be because the industry earned $43 billion in income from late payment, over-limit and balance transfer fees in 2004. That is up from $39 billion just the year before.
How are we faring with that much credit available to us? Not very well, if you look at the average American credit card debt statistics.
In 2005 the total American consumer debt reached $2.2 trillion.
Total American consumer debt averaged $11,840 per household in 2005, an increase of over 41% from 1998. The average interest rate paid on our credit cards that same year was 14.54%.
Over 60% of Americans keep a revolving balance on their credit cards today. In fact:
So we are charging more than we are paying off, which means that the average American credit card debt is growing.
We are paying an average of $1,164 in interest payments each year (in 2004). And 23% of Americans have admitted to maxing out a credit card.
And the slippery slope gets worse. Here are a few more statistics on average credit card debt in America:
In 2004 it was reported that 13% of Americans had admitted to being 30 days late paying credit card bills at least once in the previous 12 months.
During the 3 years leading up to mid 2005, 30 million Americans (40% of homeowners) refinanced their mortgages. Over half applied the proceeds to eliminate credit card debt. The average amount of credit card debt paid off with home equity loans was $12,000.
With an average interest rate of 14%, making minimum payments on the average American credit card debt balance in 2005 would mean taking over 13 years to pay it all off.
And these final statistics on average American credit card debt are most disheartening:
That's why this site was built. The information provided for you here on ControlCreditCardDebt.com will help you get out of debt, give you the keys to financial freedom and prevent you from becoming a debt statistic.
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Wilt thou seal up the avenues of ill? Pay every debt as if God wrote the bill.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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