Average American Debt in 2024: Household Debt Statistics (2024)

Written by Jennifer Streaks; edited by Sarah Silbert

Updated

2024-03-28T20:27:52Z

Average American Debt in 2024: Household Debt Statistics (1)

  • Average debt by type
  • Average debt by age
  • Average debt by credit score range
  • Average debt by state
  • How to start paying off debt
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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  • The average debt in America is $104,215 across mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and credit cards.
  • Debt peaks between ages 40 and 49 among consumers with excellent credit scores.
  • The largest percentages of the average consumer debt balance are mortgages.

The average debt an American owes is $104,215 across mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit card debt, student loan debt, and other debts like personal loans.

Data from Experian breaks down the average debt a consumer holds based on type, age, credit score, and state. We've included supplementary data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Both data sets are updated quarterly.

Average debt by type of debt

Here's an up-to-date breakdown of the average debt per consumer and total balances across all consumers from Experian data from the third quarter of 2023 and Fed data from the fourth quarter of 2023, respectively.

Debt typeAverage balance (2023, Q3)Total Balance (2023, Q4)
Mortgage debt (Excluding HELOCs)$244,498$12.25 trillion
HELOCs$42,139$360 billion
Auto loan$23,792$1.61 trillion
Credit card debt$6,501$1.13 trillion
Student loan debt$38,787$1.6 trillion
Total debt$104,215$17.50 trillion

Mortgage debt is most Americans' largest debt, exceeding other types by a wide margin. Student loans are the next largest type of debt among those listed in the data, followed closely by auto loans.

Average debt by age

Debt tends to peak somewhere around middle age. As a whole, this suggests that Americans tend to pay off debt going into retirement and tend to keep debt balances low in retirement, especially people over age 70. The largest source of debt for those under 30 is mortgages.

Here's how the average debt balance breaks down per person by age group according to Experian data. Scroll right to see more data.

GenerationAverage total debt (2023)Average total debt (2022)
Gen Z (18-26)$29,820$25,851
Millenial (27-42)$125,047$115,784
Gen X (43-57)$157,556$154,658
Baby Boomer (58-77)$94,880$96,087
Silent Generation (78+)$38,600$39,345

Average debt by credit score range

Here's how average debt breaks down across consumers within the five credit score risk levels according to Experian data from the third quarters of 2022 and 2023.

Credit score range (FICO)Total average debt (2023)Total average debt (2022)
300-579 (Poor)$43,584

$36,159

580-669 (Fair)$68,020

$65,362

670-739 (Good)$94,836

$95,067

740-799 (Very good)$108,043

$109,904

800-850 (Excellent)$158,839

$151,890

Credit scores are deeply tied to debt, affecting access to credit and interest rates.

We can observe this among consumers with poor credit, who have relatively low debts likely because many traditional loans and credit cards are not accessible to them. Additionally, younger people tend to have lower credit scores as they haven't had the time to build credit like older consumers. Consumers who are 18-29 also have the lowest average debt compared to other age groups.

On the other hand, consumers with excellent credit scores have the lowest average debts among all risk categories. Excellent credit will earn you lower interest rates, which may contribute to the lower average debt among consumers with excellent credit. Additionally, older people tend to have higher credit scores and lower average debts. The average credit score among the Silent Generation (77+) is a 760, the highest of any generation.

Average credit scores have consistently risen over the last few decades. The current average FICO score is 718, an all-time high, and 64.1% of consumers have a FICO score of 700 or above.

Average debt by state

Where someone lives tends to have a big influence on the amount of debt they accumulate. On average, residents in California, Oregon, and Washington have the highest debts while

While some parts of the country have higher housing prices and costs of living, it can be lower in other states. California residents, for example, tend to have higher average mortgage balances than many other states with more affordable housing, like Texas and Ohio.

Here is the average debt by type for residents of each US state, according to Experian data from the third quarter of 2023.

State

Average debt per resident

Alabama$77,891
Alaska$117,409
Arizona$115,963
Arkansas$74,770
California$148,428
Colorado$154,481
Connecticut$110,034
Delaware$106,317
Florida$94,933
Georgia$94,927
Hawaii$147,103
Idaho$120,766
Illinois$89,523
Indiana$79,349
Iowa$80,933
Kansas$80,961
Kentucky$73,132
Louisiana$80,616
Maine$87,920
Maryland$131,948
Massachusetts$127,277
Michigan$77,903
Minnesota$80,933
Mississippi$65,547
Missouri$82,488
Montana$104,133
North Carolina$96,426
North Dakota$91,074
Nebraska$85,443
New Hampshire$106,865
New Jersey$111,172
New Mexico$84,778
Nevada$116,440
New York$93,361
Ohio$75,243
Oklahoma$75,022
Oregon$123,090
Pennsylvania$85,047
Rhode Island$100,960
South Carolina$93,167
South Dakota$92,733
Tennessee$93,821
Texas$95,531
Utah$138,485
Virginia$128,386
Vermont$90,960
Washington$180,462
Wisconsin$85,881
West Virginia$64,320
Wyoming$108,846

This analysis excludes medical debt, which tends to fall more heavily on residents in Southern states, many of which did not expand Medicaid. As a result, the average credit score in these states is significantly lower than average credit scores of states outside this region.

How to start paying off debt

Holding large amounts of debt, especially high-interest debt, can quickly get expensive.

Large amounts of debt can also lower your credit score by raising your credit utilization ratio or simply by causing you to miss a payment here and there, resulting in a delinquency on your credit report. As of the fourth quarter of 2023, the delinquency rate on credit card loans is at 3.10%, which is the highest it's been since 2012.

Choose a repayment method and set a goal

Whichever method you choose, the first step is going to be to take stock of everything you owe, how much you owe in total, and the interest rates. Then, you can start to prioritize what you owe.

Two popular strategies are the debt avalanche and the debt snowball. The debt snowball tackles the smallest debt first to build momentum, working through bigger debts next, while the debt avalanche focuses on paying down higher-interest debt first to decrease the amount you pay overall. Depending on how your debt looks, these repayment methods can help you pay off debt fast.

Consider consolidating or refinancing while interest rates are low

For borrowers with credit card debt and other relatively small debts with high interest rates, consolidating debt could make them more manageable. Debt consolidation is a process where you take out one large loan to pay off all your smaller loans, effectively condensing them into one larger total. You can also consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card. The best debt consolidation loans will have a lower interest rate.

You can also consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card. Like consolidation loans, the best balance transfer credit cards will have a lower interest rate, but will also come with an introductory 0% APR period that usually lasts 12-18 months.

Debt relief plans

If you need outside help with your debts, it may be worth your time to look into debt relief options. There are several options available to you, each of which differs in how it helps you pay off your debt and the urgency of your debt problem.

You can enlist the help of a nonprofit credit counseling organization, which will help you sort out your finances and pay off your debts. In extenuating circ*mstances, they may even recommend a debt management plan in which your credit counselor negotiates the terms of your loans with your creditors on your behalf. They can secure lower interest rates or lower monthly payments, though they usually won't be able to lower the actual amount of money you owe.

For more dire debt problems, a debt settlement plan will reduce your overall debt amount. While this will hurt your credit score, you may be able to reduce your debt by upt to 60%.

While you can negotiate a debt settlement on your own, most people hire debt settlement companies to negotiate on their behalf. You can find our guide to the best debt settlement companies here.

Average debt frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How much total debt do Americans owe?

The total household debt in the fourth quarter of 2023 is $17.50 trillion.

What is considered high-interest debt?

There is no official threshold where debt becomes high-interest debt. Unofficially, any debts that have a higher interest than mortgages or student loans is considered high-interest. The federal student loan interest rate is 5.50% for undergraduate students while the average mortgage interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 6.41% as of March 2024.

How much debt does the average 30-year-old have?

The average 30-year-old has approximately $84,000 of debt, concentrated between student loans and mortgages. Consumers between 30-39 years old hold $3.94 trillion in debt overall.

Average American Debt in 2024: Household Debt Statistics (4)

Jennifer Streaks

Senior Personal Finance Reporter and Spokesperson

Jennifer is a Senior Personal Finance Reporter and Spokesperson for the Personal Finance vertical at Business Insider. She started her career covering personal finance at Black Enterprise Magazine, went on to CNBC where she covered personal finance, women and money and tech and then Forbes, where she reported on personal finance, business, tech and money matters related to the economy, investing, credit and entrepreneurship. Jennifer is also the author of Thrive!...Affordably: Your Month to Month Guide to living your Best Life without breaking the bank. The book offers advice, tips and financial management lessons geared towards helping the reader highlight strengths, identify missteps and take control of their finances. In addition, she has extensive experience as an on-air financial commentator and has been a featured expert discussing credit and savings, investing and retirement, mortgages and all things money and personal finance. She has an ability to discuss and simplify complex financial issues and make them easier to understand. Follow her on Twitter @jstreaks.

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