According to numbers published by the Federal Reserve, American households owe a total of $11.85 trillion in various forms of debt as of 2015. That reflects a 1.7 percent increase over debt numbers published in 2014. But how does your personal debt situation stack up to the averages?
According to the numbers, Americans owe an average of $7,529 in credit card debt. That number is calculated including all individuals who have no credit card debt. If you look at the average for only people who do have credit card debt, then the average is $16,140.
The average mortgage balance in 2015 was $155,361, and individuals with student loan debt were carrying an average balance of $31,946.
Credit card debt saw a higher increase year over year than overall debt. From August 2014 through August 2015, credit card debt numbers went up over 4 percent for the nation and over 3 percent for individual averages. The number isn't trending down, either. Annualized increases from July to August show a 4.49 percent increase in average credit card debt for American households.
Some credit card debt numbers have seen a decline if you look at trends going as far back as 2006. NerdWallet notes that this decline is associated more with defaults than with repayments, though.
While comparing your debt numbers to national averages doesn't do anything to pay the bills, it can help you realize that you are not alone in you are in debt crisis. Many people are dealing with similar issues, and there are options for relief. Speak to someone about bankruptcy and other debt relief options if you are struggling to make ends meet -- no matter where you fall with regard to national averages.
Source: NerdWallet, "American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2015," Tim Chen, accessed Nov. 06, 2015