Average American Credit Card Debt Tops $8,600
Oct 3rd, 2019 @ 1:12 PM by Amber Nelson
Americans continue to rack up credit card debt, according to a new survey from WalletHub, bringing the new average credit card debt to $8,602 per household in the 2nd quarter, a 5% increase from the year before.
U.S. consumers added $35.6 billion in new credit card loan debt in the 2nd quarter, the largest second quarter increase ever, raising the total to $1.01 trillion. WalletHub predicts that Americans will add $70 billion overall for 2019.
By state, California held the record for the most credit card debt with $125 billion in the 2nd quarter. Other states in the top five for most total credit card debt included, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois.
The state with the highest credit card debt per household was Alaska with $12,626. It was followed by Hawaii, Virginia, California and Maryland.
At the other end of that list, the state with the least amount of total credit card debt was Vermont with $1.7 billion. Others in the top five were Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Delaware.
By average household debt, Iowa was the state with the lowest amount at $6,782. Next on the list were Vermont, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Maine.
With all this extra debt, Americans are finding it harder to pay down their balances. More than a third of consumers – 39 million Americans – have been in credit card debt for at least two years and almost a quarter have been in debt over three years, according to a report from CreditCards.com. Another 7% of consumers can’t even remember how long they have carried a credit card balance.
That same report found that 35% of Americans cited emergencies such as medical bills, car repairs and home repairs were the top reason for their credit card bills. Another 28% though, use their cards simply for day-to-day expenses while 27% say discretionary spending put them into credit card debt.
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.