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The State of Consumer Debt in the United States

The term “consumer debt” refers to money owed on the purchase of consumable goods. In the United States, the most common form of consumer debt is credit card debt.

The following are some statistics illustrating the state of consumer debt in the U.S. as of May 2015:

  • The average credit card debt for all indebted households is $15,609. Including those households that do not have debt, the average household owes $7,281.
  • American consumers owe $11.9 trillion as a whole, an increase of approximately 2.6 percent from 2014.
  • About $884 billion of that total is from credit card debt. The vast majority is in mortgages ($8.2 trillion), with the rest made up of student loan debt ($1.18 trillion).

Compare these statistics to 2010 — when the average indebted household had $17,630 in debt and the average household in general owed approximately $7,768 — and it’s clear the levels of credit card debt, while slightly down, have held steady in the last few years. The lowest amount of average debt for indebted American households was $14,436 in 2011.

Experts differ on whether or not this is a good thing. Higher levels of consumer spending could lead to higher incomes and more jobs available. However, if jobs and wages are growing slowly, then families could simply be using credit cards and taking out loans as a means of getting by, rather than actually spending out of confidence in the economy.

Credit card debts often come with high interest rates, meaning you need to make them a priority if you have a debt repayment plan. For further guidance, consult a skilled Chicago bankruptcy lawyer with DebtStoppers. Call us at 800-440-7235 or contact us online.

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