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:

  • 45% of Americans were only making their minimum payments in 2004.
  • 37% paid more than the minimum monthly payment but under half of what they owe.
  • Just 17% paid more than half but less than the full amount owed.

So we are charging more than we are paying off, which means that the average American credit card debt is growing.

10 Days To New Income CD and Book

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:

  • In 2005, 2.39 million U.S. households filed for bankruptcy. This was a staggering 12.8% increase over 2004.
  • Also in 2005, the rate of personal savings in the United States was below 0% for the first time since the great depression. The actual savings rate was reported to be -.5%. Therefore, on average, we're not saving - we're in debt!
  • And according to a 2003 study, approximately 96% of Americans will have to retire financially dependent on the government, family or charity if nothing is done to change the current reality.

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.

With this information on average American credit card debt in hand, learn more about credit card debt relief using the Debt Ditch Solution.

Transforming Debt into WealthEven if your credit cards are maxed out and you have a huge mortgage to pay off, you can still get rid of all your debt in about five to seven years - and begin rapid wealth-building - without sacrificing the things that matter most to you!

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quote open Wilt thou seal up the avenues of ill? Pay every debt as if God wrote the bill. quote close

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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