Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C.
A Fresh Start

Americans' average credit card debt may be higher than it seems

There are many ways to gauge the nation's financial health. One of these measures is the average household credit card debt. This is thought to be a good way to view the level of financial health among our country's households across the board. But is this measure really as accurate as it's made out to be?

It depends on how the numbers are looked at on a deeper level. The average across all households is considerably different from the figure across just those households that carry credit card debt. That means that households with no debt, and there are many of them, are artificially creating a rosier picture for those households that are struggling more.

On average, then, the average across all households for credit card debt stands at just over $7,100. This is not an insignificant number, but for many households, this is not an insurmountable figure. It might be enough to be a nagging figure in the back of many people's minds, but it is probably not a figure that would automatically cause someone to consider bankruptcy.

As we said, though, this is not the only way of looking at the issue. When we zero in on just the households that have credit card debt, not including the ones that don't have any debt, we get a dramatically different picture. In fact, the figure is more than twice as big: just over $15,200 per household.

This can cause significant financial problems for many households, and may involve harassment from creditors who are eager to be paid. Experienced bankruptcy attorneys can aid people who find themselves in this kind of situation.

Source: Business Insider, "Here's America's Steep Average Credit Card Balance," Mary Hiers, April 9, 2014

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