The average debt for U.S. households is now more than $90,000 according to a recent study. The study by the personal finance website NerdWallet, titled "The 2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study," found that the average U.S. household with debt carries $15,762 in card cards alone and a staggering $130,922 in total debt. The breakdown of debt per average household is as follows: $15,762 in credit cards, $168,614 in mortgages, $27,141 in auto loans, and $48,172 in student loans. The average household is paying a staggering $6,658 in interest alone each year.  

According to the NerdWallet study, the reason why debt has grown so much is because the rise in the cost of living has outpaced income growth over the past 12 years. While the median household income has grown 26% since 2003, medical costs increased by 51% while food and beverage prices grew by 37%. 

Furthermore, according to a recent study by credit card comparison website CardHubhouseholds in the U.S. will accumulate a record high of $1 trillion in outstanding debt by the end of 2016. If this is the case, then the average credit card debt per household will be $8,500. The amount of debt paid by consumers by the end of the second quarter could amount to $30 billion. The study finds that while it may appear hopeful that U.S. households paid off a total of $26.8 billion in credit cards in the first quarter of 2016, that amount is the smallest reduction of debt in the first quarter since 2008, and 25% lower than the average in the post-recession era. 

Households only paid off 38% of the $71 billion in credit card debt that accumulated in 2015. Despite the upward trend in credit card spending, the good news is that charge-off rates are at near historical lows. 

For those concerned about paying off their debt, some ways to actively manage debt include creating a personal budget, ordering a credit report to know where you stand, improving one's credit score, and trying the snowball approach(See also: 7 Tips for the Do-It-Yourself Debt Manager.) 

The grand total of debt owned by U.S. consumers is $12.12 trillion. 

 

 

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