2019 Average Credit Card Debt Statistics in the U.S.

In quarter four of 2018, America owed a total of $870 billion in credit card debt alone — a 5 percent increase from 2017. When other sources of revolving consumer credit are factored in, Americans owe a total of $1.057 trillion as of March of 2019. The outstanding revolving consumer credit debt is growing at a staggering rate and has surpassed revolving credit owed during the 2008 Great Recession.

Luckily, credit card default rates are down from the 6.7 percent peak during the Great Recession, but a large amount of revolving debt is not a good sign for the future. As 48 percent of credit card users make minimum payments on their credit cards and have an amount roll over to the next month, their total credit debt will become hard to pay off.

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General Credit Card Debt Statistics

As the total credit card debt continues to rise in America, it’s important to note the causes. Fifteen percent of American families are living beyond their means and are spending more than they receive on a monthly basis. Of these families, 43 percent are turning to credit cards and revolving consumer credit borrowing to finance their expenses. As credit cards have a high annual percentage rate, this means many Americans are seeing their debts compound and grow at a staggering rate.

average credit card debt statsitics in america

Credit Card Debt by Age

When looking at credit debt across age groups, we can see that 18- to 22-year-olds carry the least amount of credit card debt, since they’re least likely to have credit cards yet and have the least ability to acquire high-balance credit cards. We can also see that 43- to 47-year-olds carry the highest amount of credit card debt.

credit card debt by age

Chart: Credit Card Debt by Age

  • 18–22: $738
  • 23–27: $1,469
  • 28–32: $2,356
  • 33–37: $3,050
  • 38–42: $3,659
  • 43–47: $4,000
  • 48–52: $3,910
  • 53–57: $3,586
  • 58–62: $3,116
  • 63–67: $2,711
  • 68–72: $2,282
  • 73–77: $1,727
  • >77: $962

When we consolidate these age groups into generations, we can more clearly see patterns that are unique to each group. Generation X and Baby Boomers tend to carry more average credit card debt than any other generation. This makes sense, since these groups have more dependents and a higher disposable income, which leads to higher average monthly expenses.

credit card debt by generation

Chart: Credit Card Debt by Generation

  • Generation Z: $2,047 average credit card debt
  • Generation Y: $4,315 average credit card debt
  • Generation X: $7,750 average credit card debt
  • Baby Boomers: $7,550 average credit card debt
  • Silent Generation: $4,613 average credit card debt

[Source: Urban Institute]

Credit Card Debt by Income Level

Income level has a proportional relationship to credit card debt, as the higher income Americans have, the higher average debt they tend to have also. However, though average debt increases as income level increases, the average ratio of debt to income decreases.

Chart: Average Credit Card Debt by Income

  • Income less than $24,999 a year: $3,000
  • Income from $25,000 to $44,999 a year: $3,900
  • Income from $45,000 to $69,999 a year: $4,900
  • Income from $70,000 to $114,999 a year: $5,800
  • Income from $115,000 to $159,999 a year: $8,300
  • Income over $160,000 a year: $11,200

[Source: The Federal Reserve]

Credit Card Debt by State

Average credit card debt differs between each state. We’ve listed out the average credit card debt for each state. To get a closer look at the country, we’ve also broken down which states have the highest and lowest amounts of credit card debt.

  • Alaska: $8,515
  • Alabama: $5,961
  • Arkansas: $5,660
  • Arizona: $6,389
  • California: $6,481
  • Colorado: $6,718
  • Connecticut: $7,258
  • District of Columbia: $6,963
  • Delaware: $6,366
  • Florida: $6,388
  • Georgia: $6,675
  • Hawaii: $6,981
  • Iowa: $5,155
  • Idaho: $5,817
  • Illinois: $6,410
  • Indiana: $5,581
  • Kansas: $6,082
  • Kentucky: $5,555
  • Louisiana: $6,074
  • Massachusetts: $6,327
  • Maryland: $7,043
  • Maine: $5,784
  • Michigan: $5,622
  • Minnesota: $5,911
  • Missouri: $5,897
  • Mississippi: $5,421
  • Montana: $5,845
  • North Carolina : $6,117
  • North Dakota: $5,511
  • Nebraska: $5,630
  • New Hampshire: $6,490
  • New Jersey: $7,151
  • New Mexico: $6,317
  • Nevada: $6,401
  • New York: $6,671
  • Ohio: $5,843
  • Oklahoma: $6,296
  • Oregon: $6,012
  • Pennsylvania: $6,146
  • Rhode Island: $6,375
  • South Carolina: $6,157
  • South Dakota: $5,692
  • Tennessee: $5,975
  • Texas: $6,902
  • Utah: $5,960
  • Virginia: $7,161
  • Vermont: $5,924
  • Washington: $6,592
  • Wisconsin: $5,363
  • West Virginia: $5,547
  • Wyoming: $6,245

[Source: Experian]

States With the Lowest Average Credit Card Debt

Even on a state level, average credit card debt tends to run high, with the lowest amounts averaging $5,000. Iowa has the lowest average credit card debt at $5,155, which is 26 percent less than the national average of $6,354.

states with the lowest average credit card debt
  • Iowa: $5,155
  • Wisconsin: $5,363
  • Mississippi: $5,421
  • North Dakota: $5,511
  • West Virginia: $5,547

[Source: Experian]

States with the Highest Average Credit Card Debt

The top five states with high average credit card debts each have credit debt averages that are more than 10 percent above the national average. Alaska is the state with the highest average credit card debt, trending 36 percent over the national average.

states with highest average credit card debt
  • Alaska: $10,091
  • Connecticut: $7,258
  • Virginia: $7,161
  • New Jersey: $7,151
  • Maryland: $7,043

[Source: Experian]

Average Household Credit Card Debt

By the end of 2018, the typical American had racked up an average debt of $6,040 on their credit cards and the average credit card debt in America had increased 9.5 percent since 2014.

Growth of Average Credit Card Debt

Over the past four years, the average credit card debt has increased by 9.5 percent, a figure that is significantly lower than the 28 percent increase in total American credit card debt.

average credit card debt statistics

Chart: Average Credit Card Debt

  • 2014: $5,516 average credit card debt.
  • 2015: $5,571 average credit card debt.
  • 2016: $5,686 average credit card debt.
  • 2017: $5,884 average credit card debt.
  • 2018: $6,040 average credit card debt.

[Source: Experian]

Delinquency Rates

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported that the consumer credit delinquency rate was 2.5 percent in 2018, which was down from the 6.7 percent peak in 2009.

  • The consumer credit delinquency rate reached 2.5% in quarter four of 2018. This is a 44% increase from quarter four in 2017. [Source: FRED]
  • Experts predict a 2.04% national credit card delinquency rate in the United States. [Source: TransUnion]

States with the Highest Credit Card Delinquency Rates

The states with the highest credit card delinquency have delinquency rates that are more than 16 percent higher than the national average. Mississippi has the highest credit card delinquency rate at 3.14 percent — 60 percent higher than the national average.

states with highest credit card deebt delinquency rates

Chart: States with the Highest Credit Card Delinquency Rates

  • Mississippi: 3.14%
  • Louisiana: 2.46%
  • Arkansas: 2.41%
  • Georgia: 2.37%
  • West Virginia: 2.28%

[Source: TransUnion]

States with the Lowest Credit Card Delinquency Rates

The states with the lowest credit debt delinquency have average delinquency rates that are over 64 percent lower than the national average. The state with the lowest delinquency rate is Wisconsin, which is 76.5 percent under the national average.

states with lowest credit card delinquency rates
  • Wisconsin: 1.11%
  • Washington: 1.12%
  • Utah: 1.14%
  • Minnesota: 1.15%
  • Montana: 1.19%

[Source: TransUnion]

As the country’s credit card debt grows, it is important for American households to focus on safe credit card spending and payment practices. Letting credit card payments roll over on a monthly basis can quickly get out of hand, leading to debt that will grow at a staggering rate. It is acceptable for Americans to have some credit card debt, especially when paying off large purchases, but it’s essential to practice good financial habits when borrowing on credit.

Especially when using a credit card with a high interest rate, it’s essential to pay off the debt before a large interest percentage kicks in. Credit card debt can decimate both your wallet and your credit score. The higher your utilization (the amount of credit you use compared to the amount of credit you have available), the lower your score. Taking control of your debt is a crucial step in repairing your credit, improving your score and putting yourself in a better position to make big ticket purchases like a house or a car.