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This Is How Much Debt We’re In

Last Update: March 2, 2020

Let’s talk numbers. As the times are changing, so are our needs. Seems that we need more than our ancestors did, which is not a surprise. Things we need in our lives cost money, and we rely on debt. But how much debt reliance are we talking about exactly?  GOBankingRates decided to do a survey on how much debt do citizens do have. They conducted an online survey where 2,500+ Americans answered the following questions:

  • How much debt do you currently have?
  • How much mortgage debt do you currently have?
  • How much student loan debt do you currently have?
  • How much auto loan debt do you currently have?
  • How much medical debt do you currently have?

This is what the survey results revealed:

how much debt category

The first thing that was an interesting data was that many Americans claimed not to be in debt at all. However, it is unlikely that all of these claims were actually true. Some might be so used to life with debt that they don’t even notice it as such. Another reason is that someone might feel embarrassed because of the debt they’re in and don’t want to seem as financially irresponsible.

The average total debt of U.S. citizen that is in debt is $140,113. However, considering that the highest percentage of debt goes into mortgage debt, it’s not a big shocker.  In fact, 65 percent of the debt U.S. citizens claim to have mortgage debt.

The second place goes to the credit card debt with 50 percent of U.S citizens. This is not that much of a surprise considering that the real estate is one of the most expensive investments one has in a lifetime. Credit cards are here for all the other expenses, big and small, which is probably the reason why they are found in the second place.

Third place goes to auto loan debt with 32 percent. Cars are also an expensive purchase which justifies it being in the third place. Student loan debt follows in the fourth place with 25 percent, and lastly comes the medical debt with 21 percent. This says that we are either a very healthy nation or that we refuse to seek treatment because of the medical expenses. You decide what’s the case.

Mortgage debt is the giant among the debts, but credit cards seem to be a problem for our people considering that the total credit card debt of U.S. equals $784 billion. Quite a number, right? However, most common debt among respondents seems to be less than $500. Every fourth American seem to have a student loan debt which totals $1.3 trillion. When asked how much they owe in the student loan debt category, the most common response was less than $1000. One-third of Americans have auto loan debt which totals $1.19 trillion. However, most report to owe less than $1000. One in five U.S. citizens reports having a medical debt, but most commonly it’s less than $500.

Who is in the red the most?

how much debt generations

Another interesting thing is that men seem to be in debt three times more than women. To be more precise, men seem to be $95,057.03 in debt while women are $31,037.03 in debt. What’s the reason for that?  Considering that mortgage debt is the biggest one, women tend to prefer renting than buying a home, while men still prefer purchasing their homes. This might explain the difference in the debt they’re in.

Generation-wise, the older Generation Xers (aged 45-54) seem to be in debt the most- $130.656.43 to be more precise. The next are baby boomers (aged 55-64) with $85,048.06 in debt. The third place belongs to younger Generation Xers (aged 35-44) with $81,737.80 in debt. After come older millennials (aged 25-34) with $36,266.88 in debt. The fifth place is reserved for seniors (aged 65+) with $21,062 in debt. The last ones are younger millennials with $18, 737.80 in debt.

The ranking isn’t so surprising considering that with the years the debt accumulates. People go into debt to buy homes and send their children to school. They are paying off their debts until they reach the old age when the debts decrease.

Which states have the highest ranking when it comes to debt?

how much debt states

This depends on which category of debt are we talking about. Highest mortgage debt is in Hawaii with 83 percent, where the lowest percentage of mortgage debt is 50 percent in Alaska. Student loan debt is highest in Rhode Island with 64 percent, and lowest in Hawaii with 8 percent. Credit card debt champion title goes to Hawaii again (and Maine) with 75%, and lowest to North Dakota with 25 percent. Medical debt is highest in Alaska with 43 percent, and lowest in Wyoming with only 6 percent. Auto loan debt is highest in Oregon with 43 percent, and lowest in Nevada with 21 percent.

What does all of this mean?

It is important to stress that there is a 4.9 percent margin error in this survey. We can’t say exactly in how much debt we are, but this is the estimate.

Mortgage debt seems to be the biggest problem for citizens of the U.S; while the least problematic debt is the medical one. That means we’re either very healthy or just afraid of visiting the doctor because of the bills. Men are three times more in debt than women because they make more real estate purchases. Older Generation X seems to have the most debt, while younger millennials have the least. Hawaii seems to be in debt the most with 83 percent of mortgage debt, and Wyoming seems to be in debt the least with 6 percent of the medical debt.

It will be interesting to see how much debt we’ll have in ten years and what are the trends going to be like.


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