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.
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.
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.
Total consumer debt in the U.S as of the first quarter of 2022 is $15.84 trillion. Auto and student loans doubled after the Great Recession. The average consumer debt sits at $92,727. Generation X carries the most consumer debt out of any generation, at $140,643 on average.
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.
“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.
Debt is normal – but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do something about it. There were a variety of debts featured in the report. Overdrafts, mail order bills, hire purchase agreements, the average household seems to owe a lot of money to many different lenders.
Mortgages are seen as “good debt” by creditors. Since the mortgage debt is secured by the value of your house, lenders see your ability to maintain mortgage payments as a sign of responsible credit use. They also see home ownership, even partial ownership, as a sign of financial stability.
Former Société Générale rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel owes the bank $6.3 billion.
So how much non-mortgage debt do Americans have? According to Northwestern Mutual's 2021 Planning & Progress Study, U.S. adults aged 18 and over who carry debt hold an average of $23,325 outside of their mortgages.
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.
So, it should come as no surprise that homeowners put down roots here (literally and figuratively). Roughly 48 percent (47.9, to be exact) of all owner-occupied homes are mortgage-free.
Seventy-one percent of Americans have a savings account.
And according to data from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances by the US Federal Reserve, the most recent year for which they polled participants, Americans have a weighted average savings account balance of $41,600 which includes checking, savings, money market and prepaid debit cards, while the median was only ...
Deadbeat specifically means someone who doesn't pay back money borrowed, or debts owed, ever. A deadbeat borrows, and betrays trust of family and friends.
Good debt is often exemplified in the old adage “it takes money to make money.” If the debt you take on helps you generate income and build your net worth, then that can be considered positive. So can debt that improves your and your family's life in other significant ways.
Being debt-free is a financial milestone we often hear about people striving for. Without debt, you can focus on building more savings, investing those extra funds and just simply having more peace of mind about your finances.
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.
What are the main causes of debt? A variety of issues can cause debt. Some causes may be the result of expensive life events, such as having children or moving to a new house, while others may stem from poor money management or failure to meet payments on time.
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.