23+ Consumer Debt Statistics That Will Shock You in 2020

Money makes the world go round.

And if you owe more than you have

You’ve got a problem!

One more thing:

There is more than one type of debt.


Consumer debt is the personal debts owed by individuals, rather than the money owed by big corporations.

Don’t panic (yet)!

Consumer debt statistics will show us what’s happening with:

  • student loans
  • personal loans
  • credit cards.

People are affected by debt…

AMAZING Consumer Debt Statistics:

  • U.S consumer debt rose 4.3% to $4.1 trillion in June 2019.
  • Current American credit card debt sits at $830 billion.
  • 20.3% is the average credit card interest in the UK in September 2019.
  • 61% of Americans now have a credit card.
  • In June 2019, student debt totaled $1.605 trillion.
  • NerdWallet released a study showing the average U.S household has $135,065 of debt.
  • Mortgage debt totaled $9.2 trillion by the end of 2019’s Q1.

Told you:

Awareness will save the cat!

(Thank God cats don’t have debts… cause they like to eat a lot!)

No matter where you are in the world, the term average credit card debt is going to mean something to you! Whether you want to shrink your debt or simply understand you’re not alone, we’ve got a bunch of stats to help you! Then it’d be up for you to decide whether your debt is as bad as you think.

If you want to learn how debt is affected your day to day life, get a coffee and start scrolling. It’s time to relax and do a little learning!

Consumer Debt Statistics: Mortgages, Credit Cards, Student Debt, Personal Loans and More!

So, now that we’ve shocked you with a few billions and trillions of debt, let’s talk about what consumer debt 2018 looked like. We will also cover how national consumer debt impacts the economy daily. Ready? Let’s go!

1. In June 2019, US consumer debt rose by 4.3%…now it is at $4.1 trillion.

(Source: Federal G19)

This is crazy, right?

Consumer debt is the total of debt involving both revolving and non-revolving debt. $3.03 trillion of this was non-revolving debt and it rose 5.8%

  • Revolving debt involves credit card debt
  • Non-revolving is everything else, such as car loans/school loans/personal loans

This means that right now, the population in the U.S owes a shocking total of $4.1 trillion…and it’s set to rise again! The shocker here is that this huge figure does not include mortgage debt. Insert gulp here.

2. The total US household debt now sits at $13.9 trillion.

(Source: Federal Reserve of New York)

Unfortunately, this is one of the most important consumer debt statistics to understand. It includes both non-mortgage and mortgage debt. The scary thing is that this figure had increased from $13.7 trillion in Q1 of the same report – that’s more of a jump than anyone wants to see.

Speaking of which, this statistic will have you gulping once more:

3. The total US household debt has risen by $993 billion since the peak of 2008.

(Source: Reserve of New York)

Let’s look at that figure for a moment.

$993 billion. It’s an impossible amount of money. It goes to show that since the crash of the 2008 recession, debt and borrowing has still continued despite the fact that people are finding life harder to afford.

This debt is everything from college loans to car debt. People are buying more today than a decade ago. This leads us to:

4. The average American home is three times bigger, contributing to household debt statistics.

(Source: NPR)

It’s relevant, bear with us.

If you look at the size of an average American home in the 1990s, you’ll see a significant difference in the size of the house. Why? Ah, the American dream! It’s all gotta be bigger and bolder than everyone else. Exactly that is contributing to triple the size of the mortgage!

We all want more, but can we handle it? Let’s take a look…

Debt Per Person (UK, US)

We’ve talked a little about US household debt, but what about US personal debt per person? And what about the rest of the world?

Here are some stats that’ll make you laugh AND cry…

5. US debt per person sits at $29,800.

(Source: Northwestern Mutual)

Not counting their mortgage, the average American has almost $30,000 of debt.

But wait, don’t start crying just yet! This is actually lower than the figures of $38,000 of debt per US citizen from a year ago.

Are improvements being made? Sure, but 45% of Americans are still feeling anxious by their level of debt. That’s almost half.

With one hand we giveth…with the other…let’s look globally instead:

6. In the UK, there is £31,232 average debt per adult (June 2019).

(Source: The Money Charity)

Hopping over to the other side of the pond, the UK has something to worry about with over £30,000 personal debt per adult as of June 2019. Ths debt includes personal loans and auto loans. If you look at the previous figure of £31,147, it’s on the way up.

The level of debt currently relates to a decade of wage freezes in a range of sectors as well as the rising rate of interest and bills. There just doesn’t seem to be much of a balance. This is pushing debt higher and higher.

More than that, though:

7. The average real wage in the UK has only increased by 1.8% in 2019.

(Source: The Money Charity)

As you can clearly see, the “increase” in wages is not proportionate to the level of debt and spending per household. The ability of someone to pay off debt is lower than ever. This is why so many companies end up writing off debts after a period of time.

With prices rising and not enough money coming in, plus a snail-like rise in income, it’s getting harder for people to live long enough to pay back their debts.

So, heading back to the US, let’s look at their personal debts:

8. Debt statistics show the total revolving US consumer debt is over $1 trillion.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

Listen to this:

Currently, the level of revolving consumer debt amounts to £3,039 US personal debt per citizen.

As we mentioned before, revolving debt involves paying different amounts each month against variable rates. What you pay out depends on what you spend that month. So, if you’re borrowing $500 one month and you repay $100, you can revolve that $100 again.

This might sound familiar to you, as this is exactly what you do with your credit card. With revolving credit card debt, you’re never really out of debt, are you? Unfortunately, a lot of Americans still haven’t found the pitfalls of this particular method of borrowing and continue to do so. This has resulted in the revolving consumer debt rising for Americans, from $888 billion in 2014 to over $1 trillion just four years later.

But what about the non-revolving debt?

Let’s look:

9. US non-revolving debt now totals more than $3 trillion.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

It’s a crazy difference, isn’t it?

Non-revolving debt is paid off monthly, like personal loans or car loans. The problem is that the level of non-revolving debt among US individuals is triple the amount of credit card debt.

This has gone up 18% since 2014, which is a huge figure in five years. How is this figure impacting the GDP? Well…

10. 75% of the US GDP is made up of American consumer debt.

(Source: Trading Economics)

It’s a staggering figure!

The average household debt was at its highest in 2007. Back then the rate of consumer debt raised to 98.6% of the GDP in America. This was far higher than it is today, but today is still high.

In fact, the best figures are shown in 1952. This is when the GDP was only made up of 23.8% of consumer debt.

Until 2018, the average figure was 58.35%, which shows that the consumer debt levels have increased.

This leads us to:

11. Americans have more personal debt than they do income.

(Source: Debt.org)

Money in, money out… sounds familiar, right?

Well, you aren’t alone. As it stands, the average American household owes $135,768 in debt. When you consider that the median income for the average American income sits at $63,688 (January 2019), that’s basically half of the level of debt.

The US personal debt levels are rising. It’s a sad situation for families that are struggling with the debt level. Just look at those stats:

12 Two in ten Americans have to allocate 50% of their income to debt payments.

(Source: Northwestern Mutual)

The anxiety surrounding US household debt means that 20% of Americans believe that they’ll owe money to someone else for the rest of their lives.

40% of Americans believe that they’ll be working until they’re 70 years old and over, due to the level of debt that they have accumulated in a lifetime.

But wait, there’s even more!

Credit Card Debt – It’s A Biggie!

Consumer debt includes credit card debt. The figures relating to credit card debt are so important to understand – especially if you’re dealing with this personally.

Credit cards make up a big slice of debt pie! Let’s look closer at the average American credit card debt statistics:

13. There are more Americans eligible for credit cards now than ever before.

(Source: TransUnion)

Take a moment here before you hear this statistic. Are you ready


Nearly 200 million American consumers can apply for a credit card today. The number is rising. This has led to the average American credit card debt being higher than it has been in a while. With the lack of increased income, there is a cycle of people in lower-income jobs relying on credit to get through the month, but never getting there because of the inability to pay their debts.
Do you know how many credit cards the average American has?

14. An average American has four credit cards – or more.

(Source: Experian)

The average credit card debt balance was hitting over $6,000 as of January 2019. This figure has slowly risen, and this is not per card. This is the average credit card debt per person.

Credit cards can be tempting and seen as “free money”. While they do have their uses when managed responsibly, they are very good at getting people into further debt.

How much has the average credit card debt grown? Well…

15. Since 2000, the average American credit card debt has grown by 52%.

(Source: ValuePenguin)

This number only dropped in 2005. This was the year that there was a huge flurry of bankruptcy filings in the US.

With the slowdown in wage rises and the need for new and better things, the trend for using credit to get what’s wanted right away has contributed to the rise in credit card debt.

Student Debt and Its Contribution to Consumer Statistics

Consumer debt statistics aren’t just about the credit cards and personal loans that people have. Here’s the thing: debt is debt!

Student loans may be something that you take on to better your future, but everything comes at a price. That sounds like a way to discourage you from getting that degree for your future, but it’s just a fact that student debt affects the lucky average consumer, and it must be considered.

Its impact on the consumer statistics is enough to be noticed. Want to know why? Keep on reading…

16. The current total student consumer debt stands at $1.56 trillion.

(Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Student loans are a necessity for the avid learner in America. However, the cost of learning has gone above and beyond recently. With so many people now choosing to get a degree to further their future, there has never been more student debt.

Student debt affects borrowers of all age groups. It’s important to make informed decisions on your borrowing for student finance, as it can have a big impact on you in the future.

17. There is currently over $1.1 billion of outstanding student debt.

(Source: Federal Reserve Board)

Yep – there is debt that is yet to be paid back. This level of debt stands at 34.2 million borrowers holding $1.1 billion of outstanding student funds to be paid. This debt is made up of Direct Loans.

There are also additional figures that bring the outstanding to over $1.4 billion! This comes from $281.8 billion in Federal Family Education Loans and $7.6 billion in Perkins loans.

Most of this debt comes from for-profit colleges, with 88% of graduates owing an average of $39,950.

18. In the UK, outstanding student debt sits at £121 million as of March 2019. 

(Source: House of Commons Library)

Similarly to the US consumer debt situation, student finance has rather an impact on the UK consumer debt statistics.

In the UK, the government has already predicted that outstanding student finance will sit at between £450-500 million by the middle of this century. This number may seem shocking at first. However, with the cost of student life rising massively with the piling of interest on top, there will always be outstanding debt.

It’s a crisis for some. They will never get to pay off the student debt; only ever the interest unless they have a huge windfall.

The government in the UK doesn’t seem that shocked by the fact that they won’t see much of their investment back, given that:

19. The UK government only expects 30% of current undergrads to repay their loans.

(Source: House of Commons Library)

Yep – it’s a surprise for most!

In the UK, the government believes that less than half of the current cohort of students will be able to repay their student debt.

That’s a lot of outstanding debt to be written off!

Consumer Debt Statistics to Add to the Mix!

The stats aren’t all about credit cards and student loans. Шhere’s a lot to be said for the other contributing factors of the looming consumer debt crisis in the US

Like auto loans. Mortgages. Personal loans.

Uncover your eyes – scary stats need to be viewed. You can still remain positive that you can do something about it!

20. Auto loan debt stands at $1.3 trillion. 

(Source: Federal Reserve)

The current level of auto loan debt in the US stands at an impressive $584 billion more than 2010 – insane!

When you break this figure right down by consumer, you’ll find that there are around 7 million auto loan holders that are up to 90 days behind on their payments.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Here’s why:

21. Millennials are working into trillions of dollars in debt – and most aren’t homeowners.

(Source: New York Federal Reserve)

Millennials are deeper in debt than any other generation. The total amount of their debt has risen by 22% in just five years. This quite a short period for the levels of consumer debt to rise that high.

The worst thing is that most millennials don’t own a house, so that debt doesn’t include a mortgage. It’s all personal debt, which is making workers live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, 78% of workers are living like that. That means there is less of a chance of millennials ever being homeowners.

Happiness & US Consumer Debt: Can It Work?

Are people in debt going to be happy?

Well, sure, they’ll find some happiness in life. However, debt is here to rain on everyone’s parade. Some of the statistics are so shocking it’s likely you’ve spilled a little of that coffee you got yourself earlier.

There’s more to get through, so hang on tight!

22. 87% of Americans would be happier without debt.

(Source: Northwestern Mutual)

This is an easy one.

Obviously, people would be far happier without debt.

Unfortunately, US consumer debt is on the up. Half of all Americans say that their finances are a huge source of anxiety. A quarter feels like their finances make them feel unhappy.

It’s not a nice figure. Money might not be the key to happiness, but it’s still vital. Have you ever seen someone cry in a car because it’s up to date with its payments?

Us neither.

23. 15% of the average American income is taken up with fun activities.

(Source: Northwestern Mutual)

Let’s break this one up a little.

You may spend more than 15% on dining out and nightlife. However, the average American consumer is dealing with debt that takes up a good chunk of their income. 15% is what is left to spend on dining out with friends and time to relax, studies show.

To Wrap Up

The coffee is gone and it’s likely you’re shocked over some of our consumer debt statistics. We did warn you!

The biggest thing that you need to take away from this is that consumer debt is on the rise. It’s eating up the average American consumer and it’s time to recognize what your own debt levels are.

Understanding debt and doing something about it before you approach bankruptcy are two different things. Now that you know what’s pulling your paycheck apart, you can start to take drastic measures.

There’s no need to end up a part of one of these consumer debt statistics. You can avoid it today! You have our support!


Christo is a bachelor in Economics, but he found a passion for crafting web content. He sees SpendMeNot as an opportunity to create engaging articles and help readers make informed financial decisions.

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