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Five Credit Card Debt Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

Posted By:  |  December 30, 2013  |  0 Comment(s)

credit card debt statistics

While the total amount of debt isn’t as much as the total student loan loan and mortgage debt amounts, credit card debt accounts for a large piece of the debt pie in the United States. Credit card debt is one of the fastest growing kinds of debt, and in order to get a handle on just how big the issue is, it’s necessary to look at the statistics.

Here are five credit card debt statistics that will shock you:

Total Average Household Credit Card Debt is About $15,112

As of 2013, according to statistics from the Federal Reserve, the average US household credit card debt was measured at $15,112, which is almost half the size of the average student load debt at $31,240. With a total American debt of $11.08 trillion in 2013, credit card debt makes up $846.9 billion of that number(1).

Credit Card Debt Shrunk in 2013

The total credit card debt in the United States has actually decreased over 2012, according to the Federal Reserve. Since August of 2012, credit card debt has fallen a total of 2.90 percent, with 0.24 percent of that decrease having taken place since August, 2013. When looking at the same time period for average US household credit card debt, one can see a decrease of 3.71 percent, and a 0.31 percent decrease since August, 2013(1).

Students with Credit Cards – 33% Have No Balance

Although student loans themselves are the second largest contributor to the national US debt, a total of $1,002.0 billion, students actually seem to be doing quite well with their credit cards. During the 2011 to 2012 school year, it was reported that one-third of students carried a zero balance on their student credit cards, 41 percent of households reported student credit card balances under $500, and only three percent of student credit card balances were in the excess of $4,000. Naturally, students with high incomes had lower balances on credit cards, around the $521 range, whereas the average student carried a balance around $755(2).

55% of Men and 60% of Women Carry a Balance

As it turns out, women are more likely to carry a credit card balance than men, and reveal a tendency to pay the minimum payment and be charged a late fee on their credit cards. As of April 2012, 55 percent of men carry a balance on their credit cards, compared to 60 percent of women. These gender differences in financial behavior become greater in populations with low financial literacy, but are not as apparent in populations with high financial literacy. (2)

The Older You Are, The More You Pay Down Credit Card Debt

As surveyed in February of 2012, 58 percent of credit card holders that were 18 years and older said they paid the full balance on their credit cards each month, 32 percent said they paid less than the full amount but more than the minimum balance, and 8 percent only paid the required minimum amount. Shockingly, 60 percent of the individuals making only monthly payments on their credit cards believed that they would be able to completely pay down their credit cards by continuing with this method. Amongst the 50 plus age category, however, 65 percent paid their balance in full each month, compared to 52 percent who did the same between the ages of 18 and 49(2).

There are many different credit card spending tendencies and patterns across the United States. These patterns are commonly dependent on age and financial standing, which can affect how the credit card debt is repaid. With many seeking debt relief for their credit cards, some of these statistics reveal the buying tendencies that may have led to this debt in the first place, and may also shed some light on how to reverse it.

(1) http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/
(2) http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-industry-facts-personal-debt-statistics-1276.php

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