And yet, over half of Americans surveyed (53%) say that debt reduction is a top priority—while nearly a quarter (23%) say they have no debt.
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.
Debt-free people are a rare breed . . . especially in today's world. Just about everyone has bought the lie that financial peace only happens when your FICO score is above average, you've got credit card points out the wazoo, and your mailbox is full of credit card applications.
How much money does the average American owe? According to a 2020 Experian study, the average American carries $92,727 in consumer debt. Consumer debt includes a variety of personal credit accounts, such as credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and student loans.
The average American has $90,460 in debt, according to a 2021 CNBC report. That included all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt.
“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.
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.
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. And Alaskans have the highest credit card balance, on average $8,026.
A: 37% of U.S. households no longer have a home mortgage to pay, according to a Zillow data analysis.
Many people see debt as a necessary evil, but it still is possible to live—and thrive—without using debt or worrying about your credit scores. The benefits of debt-free living are easy to understand, but it's important to know what challenges you'll face and how to overcome them if you stop playing using credit.
When you're debt-free, you may experience: Emotional relief. You may feel liberated and relieved to no longer have the stress of paying off debts. You've now broken free from difficult times in the past, and you're able to move forward with better habits and financial freedom.
Some 38% of owner-occupied households in the U.S. are completely paid off, and mortgage-free homeownership is even higher among low-income families and in small cities with low housing costs, according to a new study by Construction Coverage, a Los Angeles-based construction content website.
The average credit score in the United States is 698, based on VantageScore® data from February 2021. It's a myth that you only have one credit score. In fact, you have many credit scores. It's a good idea to check your credit scores regularly.
Former Société Générale rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel owes the bank $6.3 billion.
If your total balance is more than 30% of the total credit limit, you may be in too much debt. Some experts consider it best to keep credit utilization between 1% and 10%, while anything between 11% and 30% is typically considered good.
Debt-to-income ratio is your monthly debt obligations compared to your gross monthly income (before taxes), expressed as a percentage. A good debt-to-income ratio is less than or equal to 36%. Any debt-to-income ratio above 43% is considered to be too much debt.
You should aim to have everything paid off, from student loans to credit card debt, by age 45, O'Leary says. “The reason I say 45 is the turning point, or in your 40s, is because think about a career: Most careers start in early 20s and end in the mid-60s,” O'Leary says.
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.
50 years or older = $96,984
Baby boomers have an average debt of $96,984, according to Experian. Mortgages, credit card bills, and auto loans are the three main debt sources for those in this age group. Although this is less than the average debt of those 35—49, it could still spell trouble for two primary reasons.
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.
According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, the percentage of households headed by an adult aged 65 or older with any debt increased from 41.5% in 1992 to 51.9% in 2010 to 60% in 2016. Median total debt for older adult households with debt was $31,300 in 2016 – more than 2.5 times what it was in 2001.