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How much debt do Americans have?

If you struggle with paying your monthly bills, you are not alone. Most Americans hold some sort of debt. And 78 percent of the American workforce reports living paycheck-to-paycheck. But how much debt does the average American have?

The majority of consumer debts

For many Americans, personal debt may seem inevitable. Borrowed money is often the way to purchase a home or vehicle, educate children and, in many cases, make necessary daily purchases.

Reports at the end of the third quarter of 2018 suggest that most personal debt can be categorized as follows:

  • Mortgage – Nationwide, the total mortgage debt exceeds $9 trillion.
  • Automobiles – American auto debt is more than $1.5 trillion.
  • Education – The third largest source of consumer debt in the United States, student loans total nearly $1.5 trillion.
  • Credit card – Comprising more than 26 percent of the total consumer debt, Americans hold $829 billion in credit card debt.

As you consider how much debt Americans carry, you may be interested in knowing what the average debts are in different age categories.

Correlation between age groups and amount owed

According to an August 2018 report from CNBC, the average American has roughly $38,000 of personal debt. And that does not include mortgages.

  • People age 50 and above reportedly have, on average, $36,000 in debt. However, they may be concerned about a lack of retirement savings.
  • Those between 35 and 49 are $39,000 in debt. Home mortgages are the main concern for those in this age group.
  • Borrowers between 25 and 34 are likely troubled by an average of $42,000 in credit card debt.
  • Although student loans may be the highest source of debt for people between 18 and 24, those in this age group average a debt of $22,000.

That many Americans feel overwhelmed by their financial situation may not be surprising. However, it is important to remember that if your debt feels out of control, you may have options for getting back on track.

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