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What is the Average Credit Card Debt in America?

Our researchers found the median debt per American family to be $2,700, while the average debt stands at $6,270. The average balance for consumers is $5,315, although some of that debt may be held on joint cards and thus double-counted. Overall, Americans owe $807 billion across almost 506 million card accounts. Below, you'll find some of the most prominent trends that emerged.

American credit card debt statistics and key findings

  • Average American family credit card debt: $6,270

  • Total outstanding U.S. consumer debt: $4.2 trillion

  • Total credit card debt: $807 billion

  • 45.4% of families carry some sort of credit card debt.

  • Families with the lowest quartile of net worth (median net worth of $310) hold an average of $4,830 in credit card debt, although only 44% have card debt.

  • The West holds the highest average credit card debt, averaging over $7,000.


Average credit card debt in America

The average credit card debt of U.S. families is $6,270, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. This information comes from data collected through 2019, representing the most reliable measure of credit card indebtedness in the U.S.


American consumer debt (billions)

Credit Card Debt

Total Debt

Percentage of credit card debt to total debt

2003

$693

$7,555

9.2%

2004

$706

$8,833

8.0%

2005

$732

$9,792

7.5%

2006

$754

$11,111

6.8%

2007

$817

$12,133

6.7%

2008​

$858

$12,675

6.8%

2009

$812

$12,279

6.6%

2010

$731

$11,844

6.2%

2011

$693

$11,661

5.9%

2012

$674

$11,310

6.0%

2013

$672

$11,280

6.0%

2014

$680

$11,710

5.8%

2015

$714

$12,065

5.9%

2016

$747

$12,350

6.0%

2017

$808

$12,955

6.2%

2018

$844

$13,512

6.2%

2019

$881

$13,952

6.3%

2020

$807

$14,353

5.6%

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York


Average credit card debt by state

Average credit card debt varied widely by state. The typical borrower in Alaska carries the most credit card debt — $6,617 on average. This is 10% more than Connecticut, which carries the next highest average credit card debt.

The average borrower in Iowa holds just $4,289 in credit card debt, which is the least of any state. Wisconsin and Kentucky were among other states that had the lowest average credit card debt.

Rank

State

​2020 Average Credit Card Debt

29

Alabama

$5,047

1

Alaska

$6,617

22

Arizona

$5,157

37

Arkansas

$4,791

26

California

$5,120

11

Colorado

$5,541

2

Connecticut

$6,040

12

Delaware

$5,462

8

District of Columbia

$5,671

9

Florida

$5,623

7

Georgia

$5,693

10

Hawaii

$5,614

48

Idaho

$4,582

15

Illinois

$5,365

45

Indiana

$4,651

51

Iowa

$4,289

28

Kansas

$5,063

49

Kentucky

$4,521

24

Louisiana

$5,127

43

Maine

$4,676

5

Maryland

$5,977

23

Massachusetts

$5,141

40

Michigan

$4,692

39

Minnesota

$4,767

47

Mississippi

$4,587

31

Missouri

$4,950

38

Montana

$4,785

36

Nebraska

$4,819

13

Nevada

$5,422

16

New Hampshire

$5,327

4

New Jersey

$5,978

32

New Mexico

$4,948

Rank

State

2020 Average Credit Card Debt

14

New York

$5,414

25

North Carolina

$5,121

35

North Dakota

$4,865

34

Ohio

$4,888

18

Oklahoma

$5,271

42

Oregon

$4,681

27

Pennsylvania

$5,080

19

Rhode Island

$5,256

17

South Carolina

$5,310

46

South Dakota

$4,633

30

Tennessee

$5,006

6

Texas

$5,848

33

Utah

$4,900

44

Vermont

$4,653

3

Virginia

​$5,992

20

Washington

$5,238

41

West Virginia

​$4,686

50

Wisconsin

$4,376

21

Wyoming

​$5,182

Source: Experian


Average credit card debt by age

Median credit card debt peaks for those who are between 45 and 54 years old, at $3,200.

Age

Median credit card debt

Average credit card debt

Percentage who carry debt

Younger than 35

$1,000

$3,660

47.6%

35-44

$2,700

$5,990

50.5%

45-54

$3,200

$7,670

51.7%

55-64

$3,000

$6,880

46.6%

65-74

$2,850

$7,030

41.1%

75 or older

$2,700

$8,080

28.0%

Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances


Average credit card debt by income

The greater the household income, the higher the credit card debt. Individuals in the highest annual income percentile, 90th to 100th, had an average of $12,600 in credit card debt — more than three times as much as households making the least.

Income percentile

Median annual income

Percentage who have credit card debt

Average credit card debt

Less than 20

$16,290

30.5%

$3,830

20-39.9

$35,630

45.6%

$4,650

40-59.9

$59,050

55.0%

$4,910

60-79.9

$95,700

56.8%

$6,990

80-89.9

$151,700

45.9%

$9,780

90-100

$290,160

32.2%

$12,600

Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances


Average credit card debt by education level

People with college degrees carry higher credit card balances, even though only 43% carry credit card debt, compared with 52% who have some college and 47% who ended their education after high school.


Average credit card debt by race

People who are white (with no Hispanic origin) reported their families carried an average of $6,940 in credit debt — the highest amount of any racial group.

They were followed by "other" — which includes Asians and American Indians — with an average credit card debt of $6,320. Black households carried the least debt with an average of $3,940, which is 37% lower than the nationwide average.


How the COVID-19 crisis changed credit card debt in America

The average debt for individual consumers dropped from $6,194 in 2019 to $5,315 in 2020. In fact, the average balance declined in every state.

Following years of growth, both outstanding credit card debt and credit limits from issuers dropped in 2020 amid the coronavirus crisis. The balance decreases have generally been attributed to drop-offs in spending during quarantine periods and the ability to pay down balances with economic impact payments and supplemental unemployment money.

Banks decreased card limits for 34% of consumers at the start of the crisis, according to CompareCards, as a way to mitigate potential losses in uncertain economic times.


Sources


New Beginnings Credit Solutions is a Wisconsin-based company and is one of the highest-rated credit restoration companies in the state. They have years of experience helping consumers understand and work to improve their credit. You can call 715-204-9355 to schedule a free credit consultation with them.


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