Average US debt by type, state and age

Our experts answer readers’ questions about student loans and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we rate student loans). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own.

  • Average US debt is $59,580, including mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and credit card debt.
  • Indebtedness peaks between ages 40 and 49, and the average amount varies considerably across the country.
  • If you have too much debt, consider a debt consolidation loan or consult a credit counselor.

The average American has $59,580 in debt in the form of mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit card debt, student loan debt, and other debts like personal loans .

Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report breaks down the average amount of debt Americans have by type, as well as by borrower age and location. The data was collected from a random sample of approximately 5% of Americans with credit report information. Student loan debt was calculated with 1% of the population.

Here’s what the average American owes.

Average US Debt by Debt Type

Here’s a breakdown of the total amount, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Mortgage debt is the largest debt for most Americans, far exceeding other types. Student loans are the second largest type of debt among those listed in the data, followed closely by auto loans.

It should also be noted that, overall, the average debt per person has steadily increased over the past few years. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the average total debt per person was $50,090, compared to $55,480 in 2021 and $59,580 in 2022.

Average US Debt by State

Where someone lives usually has a big influence on how much debt they accumulate.

While some parts of the country have higher housing prices and cost of living, they may be lower in other states. Residents of California, for example, tend to have higher average mortgage balances than many other states with more affordable housing, such as Texas and Ohio.

Here’s the average debt by type for residents of each U.S. state, according to 2022 data from the Federal Reserve Board of New York. Scroll right to see the total amount of debt.

Average US debt by age

Debt tends to peak around middle age. Overall, this suggests that Americans tend to pay off debt in retirement and maintain low debt balances in retirement, especially those over 70. For those under 30, the main source of debt is the mortgage.

The Federal Reserve stopped tracking average debt by age in 2017, although it still tracks total debt by age. To find our averages, we divided the total debt by age with the number of people in each age group using the most recent demographic data from Marketing Charts, which reflects the US population as of July 2021.

Note that this calculation distributes indebtedness across the entire age group, not just members of that group with this type of indebtedness. The average debt per person will be higher if you only count creditors.

For example, data shows that the average person between the ages of 18 and 29 has $70 in HELOC debt, which is likely due to the low rate of homeownership among this demographic. According to Statista, only 39.3% of Americans under 35 owned a home, while 62.5% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 owned a home in the third quarter of 2022.

Here’s how the average debt balance breaks down by age group. Scroll right to see more data.

How to start paying off debt

Holding large amounts of debt, especially high-interest debt, can quickly become costly. Having too much debt can also lower your credit score by increasing your credit utilization ratio or simply causing you to miss a payment here and there, resulting in a default on your credit report.

Choose a repayment method and set a goal

Whichever method you choose, the first step will be to take stock of everything you owe, the total amount you owe and the interest rate. Then you can start prioritizing what you need.

Two popular strategies are the debt avalanche and the debt snowball. The debt snowball attacks the smallest debt first to build momentum, then attacks the biggest debts, while the debt avalanche first focuses on paying down debt. higher interest debt to reduce the overall amount you pay.

Consider consolidating or refinancing when interest rates are low

For borrowers with credit card debt and other relatively small debts with high interest rates, consolidating your debts could make them more manageable. Debt consolidation is a process where you take out one big loan to pay off all of your smaller loans, condensing them into one larger total. You can also consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card. The best debt consolidation loans will have a lower interest rate while the best balance transfer credit cards

You can also consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card. Like consolidation loans, the best balance transfer credit cards will have a lower interest rate, but will also come with a 0% APR introductory period that typically lasts 12-18 months.

Debt management plans

If you need outside help to settle your debts, it may be worth seeking help from a non-profit credit counseling agency, which will help you sort out your finances and pay off your debts. In extenuating circumstances, they may even recommend a debt management plan in which your credit counselor negotiates the terms of your loans with your creditors on your behalf. They may get lower interest rates or lower monthly payments, although they usually won’t be able to reduce the actual amount you owe.

Average debt frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Total household debt in the fourth quarter of 2022 is $16.9 trillion.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button