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Old 02-20-2013, 07:26 AM   #1
Starbrite
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Average Credit Card Debt

Just wondering how much is the national average of credit card debt? And how much is too much?

I have a lot, way too much actually - but I'm aware of that, I've made mistakes, I no longer use any of the cards & I'm working my way out slowly. (Although according to my monthly statement, it will take me 42 years to pay it all off)
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Starbrite View Post
Just wondering how much is the national average of credit card debt? And how much is too much?

I have a lot, way too much actually - but I'm aware of that, I've made mistakes, I no longer use any of the cards & I'm working my way out slowly. (Although according to my monthly statement, it will take me 42 years to pay it all off)
My belief is that ANY debt is too much debt. I'm working hard on getting mine paid off. My minimum payments are about $400 a month. Wow. What I could do with that money every month!!

If you think you have too much, then you do!

Good luck on getting it paid off...oh, and don't look at the statement for that info - they are legally required to tell you that, and if you make ONLY the minimum payments then, yes, it will take that long. But if you pay even $5 over it will take a LOT less.

I recommend looking up some good budgeting books - Dave Ramsey is a favorite of many (I personally am on the fence with his teachings - love some, hate some - I take what I love and go with it). Your Money or Your Life is a fantastic book.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:30 AM   #3
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Google is your friend! You can find this information in about 5 seconds doing a Google search.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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You should join the Debt Dumpers thread. I find them very positive and inspirational, even though I myself don't have consumer debt. Good luck, you'll reach your goal before 42 years!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbrite View Post
Just wondering how much is the national average of credit card debt? And how much is too much?

I have a lot, way too much actually - but I'm aware of that, I've made mistakes, I no longer use any of the cards & I'm working my way out slowly. (Although according to my monthly statement, it will take me 42 years to pay it all off)
According to this article, the average U.S. household credit card debt is $7,117.

The statistics can be deceiving. Only 46.7% of households carry credit card debt, which means that the average amount of debt held by those households is much higher than the overall average of all households. The average amount of credit card debt held by those households who carry debt is $15,257. This amount is up 5.57% over the amount that the average indebted household owed a year ago.

ETA: IMO, any debt is too much. However, if you are finding it difficult to meet your financial obligations and you are living paycheck-to-paycheck with no savings safety net, most people would agree that you have too much debt.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
Google is your friend! You can find this information in about 5 seconds doing a Google search.
Well, that was helpful.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marionnette View Post
According to this article, the average U.S. household credit card debt is $7,117.

The statistics can be deceiving. Only 46.7% of households carry credit card debt, which means that the average amount of debt held by those households is much higher than the overall average of all households. The average amount of credit card debt held by those households who carry debt is $15,257. This amount is up 5.57% over the amount that the average indebted household owed a year ago.

ETA: IMO, any debt is too much. However, if you are finding it difficult to meet your financial obligations and you are living paycheck-to-paycheck with no savings safety net, most people would agree that you have too much debt.
Yikes!

We are lucky we don't carry credit card debt, but do have a mortgage and a car payment, which are also considered debt.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Here's an online calculator for figuring out how soon you will be out of debt based on consistent fixed payments and no further indebtedness.

http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/...alculator.aspx
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:03 AM   #9
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Yikes!

We are lucky we don't carry credit card debt, but do have a mortgage and a car payment, which are also considered debt.
Those numbers were for credit card debt only. Other debts (mortgages, student loans, etc.) were not included in that number!

One encouraging statistic would be that the average credit card debt has gone down from $17,630 in Dec 2011. However, this number is misleading once again. The number of households that carry credit card debt has risen from 43.2% to 46.7% between Dec. 2011 and Dec. 2012. This increase in the number of households carrying a balance acts to lower the average.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
Google is your friend! You can find this information in about 5 seconds doing a Google search.
Yes, I think everyone knows that. The op is most likely looking for one-to-one response answers and opinions.

We are not idiots & I think you'd need to be living under a rock to not know about Google. We come to this message board for personal interaction.

OP: That you are aware you have too much is a good start. Just keep plugging away. If you can't increase your income, then look to ways to decrease your spending. Just throw everything at the debt you can.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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Those numbers were for credit card debt only. Other debts (mortgages, student loans, etc.) were not included in that number!
I know.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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The whole "how much is too much" thing really depends on what you're earning, and what you're comfortable with.

I've run up debt in between paychecks, but only because I get paid once or twice a year.

Honestly, I'm not comfortable with any at all, but I'm EXTREMELY uncomfortable when my debt is more than half of what my limit is. I always try to keep it under a quarter of my limit, and pay it off enitrely as soon as I get paid.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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We've got TOOOOOO much thanks to having to put DH's last couple grad classes on the credit card. We're not living paycheck to paycheck though and we're avoiding using the credit card for anything other than things we plan on immediately paying off (i.e. using it for the consumer protection)... but it still feels like a black cloud hanging over our heads. I was just musing the other day that if we could pay $1000 a month on it, we'd be rid of it in a year. But we just can't take that kind of hit to our budget. We're working on it though! It'll feel so nice once it's paid off.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
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There is no right answer to how much debt is ok. It has to do with a family's finances, situations, stages in life planning etc. It really is a personal thing.

I'm at the stage in my life where I am building savings: Retirement Funds, Emergency Fund, Vacation Fund, College Funds & Fun Fund.. While I budget a set amt for each of these each paycheck, I find that because I have no debt (other than my mortgage), I have extra money to add to my various funds. If you figure that a family pays $500-1000 amonth in Credit Card payments, if you don't have any credit card debt, then that's $500-1000 that you can divy up into one of the "savings" funds.. Things grow alot faster that way!

Dave Ramsey is a good source of info - you can get alot of his info online for free or at your library. There are others that are just as good. The thing is, most of these financial wizards don't have the exact plan down in a way that every person can agree w/ 100%. I made it a point to particiate, read & research as much of them as I was (an become) aware of. Then I pick & choose which ones work for me.

The important thing is being aware of where you are financially , having a goal on where you want to be and then coming up with a realistic plan to get you there and finally --Sticking to or working that plan until you reach your goal, even if it's painful @ times!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cglaura View Post
Yes, I think everyone knows that. The op is most likely looking for one-to-one response answers and opinions.

We are not idiots & I think you'd need to be living under a rock to not know about Google. We come to this message board for personal interaction.

OP: That you are aware you have too much is a good start. Just keep plugging away. If you can't increase your income, then look to ways to decrease your spending. Just throw everything at the debt you can.

You know there always has to be one person on a thread to make a comment like that. I don't understand why they have to post that
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