While the average American has $90,460 in debt, this includes all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt.
If you have credit card debt, you're not alone. On average, Americans carry $6,194 in credit card debt, according to the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review.
“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O'Leary has said the ideal age to be debt-free is 45, especially if you want to retire by age 60. Being debt-free — including paying off your mortgage — by your mid-40s puts you on the early path toward success, O'Leary argued.
Generally speaking, a good debt-to-income ratio is anything less than or equal to 36%. Meanwhile, any ratio above 43% is considered too high.
Even though household net worth is on the rise in America (at $141 trillion in the summer of 2021)—so is debt. The total personal debt in the U.S. is at an all-time high of $14.96 trillion. The average American debt (per U.S. adult) is $58,604 and 77% of American households have at least some type of debt.
It's typically smarter to pay down your mortgage as much as possible at the very beginning of the loan to save yourself from paying more interest later. If you're somewhere near the later years of your mortgage, it may be more valuable to put your money into retirement accounts or other investments.
Former Société Générale rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel owes the bank $6.3 billion.
The average credit card debt for 30 year olds is roughly $4,200, according to the Experian data report.
35—49 year olds = $135,841
Credit card debt is the next main source of debt, followed by education and auto loans.
That's right, a debt-free lifestyle makes it easier to save! While it can be hard to become debt free immediately, just lowering your interest rates on credit cards, or auto loans can help you start saving. Those savings can go straight into your savings account, or help you pay down debt even faster.
Using one of these options to pay off your mortgage can give you a false sense of financial security. Unexpected expenses—such as medical costs, needed home repairs, or emergency travel—can destroy your financial standing if you don't have a cash reserve at the ready.
What is the most significant downside of paying off your mortgage early? The biggest drawback of paying off your mortgage is reducing your liquidity. It is far easier to get money out of an investment or bank account than it is to get money from the equity you've built in your home.
A: 37% of U.S. households no longer have a home mortgage to pay, according to a Zillow data analysis.
It's not at all uncommon for households to be swimming in more that twice as much credit card debt. But just because a $15,000 balance isn't rare doesn't mean it's a good thing. Credit card debt is seriously expensive. Most credit cards charge between 15% and 29% interest, so paying down that debt should be a priority.
Compared to 2021 standards, respondents to the 2020 survey described the threshold for wealth as being a net worth of $2.6 million.
Being debt free to start with means having minimal to no bad debts and average good debts. Being debt free doesn't mean you have no mortgage, bills, or car payment. It means you carry a manageable amount of debt, and are cognizant of your borrowing and DTI.
You may have heard carrying a balance is beneficial to your credit score, so wouldn't it be better to pay off your debt slowly? The answer in almost all cases is no. Paying off credit card debt as quickly as possible will save you money in interest but also help keep your credit in good shape.
Option 1: Pay off the highest-interest debt first
Best for: Minimizing the amount of interest you pay. There's a good reason to pay off your highest interest debt first — it's the debt that's charging you the most interest.