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Average Credit Card Debt Statistics, Historical Balances & More

CH-Statistic-Consumer-Credit-Card-DebtCredit card debt levels offer valuable insights into the state of the economy as well as financial literacy and consumer habits. Year-over-year changes in the total debt load, for example, illustrate the economy’s trajectory, lend context to current events, and reveal potential problem areas for regulators. Similarly, average household balances and default rates enable consumers to determine if their situation is within the norm, while giving retailers and economists a sense of whether or not spending levels are sustainable.

In considering credit card debt statistics, one must not overlook the importance of charged-off debt. Pundits often ignore this old debt, which consumers have defaulted on and banks have written off their books. However, the statute of limitations for credit card debt can be up to 15 years, which means consumers will still owe the money and collectors will try to recoup it long after it’s charged-off. What’s more, failing to include charged-off debt among total amounts owed leads to a very misleading picture of consumer payment habits.

Across this page when we refer to credit card debt, it means outstanding credit card balances and does not include all the credit card debt that consumers defaulted on and are still liable for.

 

Total Credit Card Debt

Total Credit Card Debt Balance (in Billions)

(Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, Federal Reserve & CardHub data)
View Raw Data
 

  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the percentage of surveyed individuals who carried an unpaid balance increased from 38.7% in 2010 to 42.2% in 2013.
(Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 2010 & 2013)

 
 

Total Credit card Balance as Percentage of Total Amount of Debt

(Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax)

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Credit Card Debt by Household

 

Quarterly Average Household U.S. Revolving Consumer Debt — Not Seasonally Adjusted —

(Source: CardHub Data, FDIC, Q4 2015)
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Mean & Median Values of Credit Card Balances for Families (for Balances Greater than Zero) — Adjusted for Inflation

 

  • The wide spread between the 2013 mean and median values suggests that at the time 50 percent or more of American families had credit card balances of over $9,100.
(Source: Federal Reserve)

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Credit Card Debt by Region

 

The Average Amount of Money Owed Per Individual on Revolving Credit Accounts (e.g. credit cards)
and Fixed Payment Accounts (e.g. auto loans)

 

  • The average amount of money owed per individual on revolving credit accounts (e.g. credit cards) and fixed payment accounts (e.g. auto loans), excluding real estate mortgages is $12,808
  • Regions with highest average debt: New England – $15,710; Middle Atlantic – $14,091
  • Region with lowest average debt: East South Central – $10,787
  • The large amount of debt in New England coincides with an average credit score of 709, higher than any other region. This suggests that the amount of debt in that region is related to the large line of credit that is extended to people with high credit scores. This is not the case, however, in the Middle Atlantic where the average amount of debt is higher than any other region and the average credit score is 701.
(Source: Experian National Score Index, November 2013)

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Available Credit, Monthly Payments and Credit Lines

 

Available Credit and Credit Lines (in Trillions)
(Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax)

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Average Minimum Credit Card Monthly Payments by Region
(Source: Experian National Score Index, November 2013)

 

  • The typical consumer has access to approximately $19,000 on all credit cards combined. More than half of all people with credit cards are using less than 30 percent of their total credit card limit. Just over one in seven is using 80 percent or more of their credit card limit.
(Source: myFICO.com)

 
 

Balance-to-limit Ratio by Region
  • Pacific is the region with the lowest balance-to-limit ratio and one of the highest average credit scores. It is interesting to note that they are also one of the regions with the highest average debt per person. These numbers indicate that the high amount of debt compared to the national average has to do with large lines of credit that are extended to people with high credit scores. The high dollar amount of debt is a small percentage of their credit line, which explains the low balance-to-limit ratio.
(Source: Experian National Score Index, November 2013)

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Credit Card Balances by Family Characteristics

 
Note: All of the following are based on the Federal Reserve, 2012 bulletin.

Median Balance Values by Family Structure

 

Median Balance Values by Head of Family Education Level

 

Median Balance Values by Head of Family Age

 

Median Balance Values by Family Income

 

Median Balance Values by Urbanicity

 

Percent of families whose debt exceeds 40% of their income

 

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Business Credit Card Statistics

 

Percent of Small Businesses that Carried a Balance

 

(Source: National Small Business Association, 2010)

 

Small Business Credit Card Users Carrying a Balance – by Type of Card Used
(Source: The Federal Reserve, 2011)

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Raw Data


Total Credit Card Debt Balance (in Billions)

Year & Quarter Federal Reserve & CardHub Credit Card Debt Balance FRBNY & Equifax Credit Card Debt Balance Credit Card Debt As % of Total Debt (FRBNY & Equifax) FRBNY & Equifax Total Debt
99:Q1 $568 $480 10.57% $4,540
99:Q2 $581 $480 10.37% $4,630
99:Q3 $592 $500 10.37% $4,820
99:Q4 $615 $500 10.50% $4,760
00:Q1 $604 $520 10.28% $5,060
00:Q2 $624 $540 10.29% $5,250
00:Q3 $645 $530 9.93% $5,340
00:Q4 $688 $580 10.53% $5,510
01:Q1 $680 $600 10.42% $5,760
01:Q2 $695 $610 11.03% $5,530
01:Q3 $691 $630 10.70% $5,890
01:Q4 $720 $640 10.79% $5,930
02:Q1 $697 $630 10.06% $6,260
02:Q2 $715 $660 10.48% $6,300
02:Q3 $727 $680 10.16% $6,690
02:Q4 $757 $690 10.36% $6,660
03:Q1 $736 $688 9.84% $6,990
03:Q2 $744 $693 9.71% $7,140
03:Q3 $749 $693 9.49% $7,300
03:Q4 $775 $698 8.94% $7,810
04:Q1 $753 $695 8.64% $8,040
04:Q2 $759 $697 8.50% $8,200
04:Q3 $777 $706 8.30% $8,510
04:Q4 $808 $717 8.24% $8,700
05:Q1 $778 $710 8.04% $8,830
05:Q2 $792 $717 7.86% $9,120
05:Q3 $802 $732 7.77% $9,420
05:Q4 $840 $736 7.66% $9,610
06:Q1 $825 $723 7.27% $9,950
06:Q2 $842 $739 7.17% $10,310
06:Q3 $859 $754 7.08% $10,650
06:Q4 $906 $767 7.08% $10,830
07:Q1 $875 $764 6.96% $10,970
07:Q2 $898 $796 7.01% $11,350
07:Q3 $927 $817 7.04% $11,610
07:Q4 $982 $839 7.09% $11,830
08:Q1 $953 $837 7.00% $11,960
08:Q2 $964 $850 7.08% $12,010
08:Q3 $964 $858 7.11% $12,060
08:Q4 $984 $866 7.20% $12,030
09:Q1 $922 $843 7.10% $11,870
09:Q2 $909 $824 7.03% $11,720
09:Q3 $898 $812 7.01% $11,580
09:Q4 $898 $795 6.94% $11,450
10:Q1 $838 $762 6.72% $11,350
10:Q2 $825 $744 6.66% $11,170
10:Q3 $813 $731 6.61% $11,060
10:Q4 $823 $730 6.69% $10,900
11:Q1 $777 $696 6.38% $10,920
11:Q2 $785 $694 5.92% $11,720
11:Q3 $790 $693 5.95% $11,650
11:Q4 $824 $704 6.11% $11,530
12:Q1 $782 $679 5.94% $11,430
12:Q2 $791 $672 5.91% $11,380
12:Q3 $797 $674 5.96% $11,310
12:Q4 $829 $679 5.99% $11,340
13:Q1 $789 $660 5.88% $11,230
13:Q2 $799 $668 5.99% $11,150
13:Q3 $805 $672 5.96% $11,280
13:Q4 $841 $683 5.93% $11,521
14:Q1 $802 $659 5.66% $11,650
14:Q2 $823 $669 5.75% $11,632
14:Q3 $833 $680 5.81% $11,710
14:Q4 $872 $700 5.92% $11,830
15:Q1 $831 $684 5.77% $11,850
15:Q2 $857 $703 5.93% $11,850
15:Q3 $872 $714 5.92% $12,065
15:Q4 $918 $733 6.05% $12,116
(Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, Federal Reserve & CardHub data)

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Quarterly Average Household U.S. Revolving Consumer Debt — Not Seasonally Adjusted

Year Per Household Total Revolving Debt (In Billions)
2015 Q4 $7,879 $917.66
2015 Q3 $7,493 $871.92
2015 Q2 $7,369 $856.66
2015 Q1 $7,156 $831.20
2014 Q4 $7,516 $872.20
2014 Q3 $7,183 $832.70
2014 Q2 $7,104 $822.90
2014 Q1 $6,923 $801.80
2013 Q4 $7,275 $841.00
2013 Q3 $6,967 $804.80
2013 Q2 $6,924 $799.10
2013 Q1 $6,843 $789.10
2012 Q4 $7,194 $829.00
2012 Q3 $6,919 $796.50
2012 Q2 $6,881 $791.30
2012 Q1 $6,805 $781.80
2011 Q4 $7,184 $824.40
2011 Q3 $6,842 $789.90
2011 Q2 $6,757 $784.90
2011 Q1 $6,646 $776.50
2010 Q4 $6,999 $822.70
2010 Q3 $6,920 $812.80
2010 Q2 $7,026 $824.60
2010 Q1 $7,143 $837.60
2009 Q4 $7,664 $898.10
2009 Q3 $7,674 $898.40
2009 Q2 $7,771 $909.10
2009 Q1 $7,887 $921.90
2008 Q4 $8,428 $984.30
(Source: CardHub Data, FDIC, Q4 2015)

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Available Credit and Credit Lines (in Trillions)

Year & Quarter Credit Card Balance Credit Card Available Credit Credit Card Limit
99:Q1 $0.48 $1.05 $1.53
99:Q2 $0.49 $0.90 $1.38
99:Q3 $0.50 $1.22 $1.71
99:Q4 $0.51 $1.25 $1.75
00:Q1 $0.52 $1.27 $1.79
00:Q2 $0.54 $1.32 $1.86
00:Q3 $0.53 $1.41 $1.94
00:Q4 $0.58 $1.57 $2.15
01:Q1 $0.60 $1.63 $2.23
01:Q2 $0.61 $1.54 $2.15
01:Q3 $0.63 $1.58 $2.21
01:Q4 $0.64 $1.67 $2.31
02:Q1 $0.63 $1.68 $2.31
02:Q2 $0.66 $1.78 $2.44
02:Q3 $0.68 $1.81 $2.49
02:Q4 $0.69 $1.86 $2.55
03:Q1 $0.69 $1.86 $2.55
03:Q2 $0.69 $1.87 $2.56
03:Q3 $0.69 $1.86 $2.55
03:Q4 $0.70 $1.87 $2.57
04:Q1 $0.70 $1.88 $2.57
04:Q2 $0.70 $1.90 $2.60
04:Q3 $0.71 $1.89 $2.60
04:Q4 $0.72 $2.14 $2.86
05:Q1 $0.71 $2.18 $2.89
05:Q2 $0.72 $2.25 $2.97
05:Q3 $0.73 $2.33 $3.06
05:Q4 $0.74 $2.35 $3.09
06:Q1 $0.72 $2.40 $3.12
06:Q2 $0.74 $2.41 $3.15
06:Q3 $0.75 $2.38 $3.13
06:Q4 $0.77 $2.29 $3.06
07:Q1 $0.76 $2.29 $3.05
07:Q2 $0.80 $2.52 $3.32
07:Q3 $0.82 $2.57 $3.39
07:Q4 $0.84 $2.62 $3.46
08:Q1 $0.84 $2.58 $3.42
08:Q2 $0.85 $2.82 $3.67
08:Q3 $0.86 $2.84 $3.70
08:Q4 $0.87 $2.66 $3.53
09:Q1 $0.84 $2.43 $3.27
09:Q2 $0.82 $2.22 $3.04
09:Q3 $0.81 $2.12 $2.93
09:Q4 $0.80 $2.07 $2.87
10:Q1 $0.76 $2.00 $2.76
10:Q2 $0.74 $1.95 $2.70
10:Q3 $0.73 $1.95 $2.68
10:Q4 $0.73 $1.93 $2.66
11:Q1 $0.70 $2.00 $2.69
11:Q2 $0.60 $2.00 $2.77
11:Q3 $0.69 $2.02 $2.72
11:Q4 $0.70 $2.11 $2.82
12:Q1 $0.68 $2.13 $2.81
12:Q2 $0.67 $2.12 $2.79
12:Q3 $0.67 $2.11 $2.78
12:Q4 $0.68 $2.09 $2.77
13:Q1 $0.66 $2.11 $2.77
13:Q2 $0.67 $2.13 $2.80
13:Q3 $0.67 $2.16 $2.84
13:Q4 $0.68 $2.22 $2.91
14:Q1 $0.66 $2.25 $2.91
14:Q2 $0.67 $2.27 $2.94
14:Q3 $0.68 $2.29 $2.97
14:Q4 $0.70 $2.29 $2.99
15:Q1 $0.68 $2.33 $3.02
15:Q2 $0.70 $2.36 $3.06
15:Q3 $0.71 $2.39 $3.11
15:Q4 $0.73 $2.39 $3.13
(Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax)

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