Average U.S. Debt by Age
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In our efforts to keep pace with the Joneses (or just get out of this during these uncertain economic times), debt has become a standardized part of the American lifestyle.
Borrowing money is often an important part of a long-term financial plan, whether it’s to access education and career opportunities, buy a car for your commute, or find a place to call home.
However, debt also comes with low risk and can be costly. Not only do you pay interest and fees, borrowing of any kind requires you to make your payments on time in order to keep your account and credit score in good standing. It is not uncommon for consumers to make some common mistakes while learning how credit works and establishing money habits.
This is why knowledge is important: use 2019 data From the Experian credit bureau, we took a look at the average American’s debt amount at each stage of their life, breaking it down by total balance and type, so you can get an overview of how much money is borrowed by. Americans, and why.
While the average American has $ 90,460 in debt, this includes all types of consumer debt products, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt.
In addition to staying informed about financial planning, read advice on saving for retirement and learn credit card basics – Knowing where you are can help you decide on the next step in your financial journey.
Here are the average debt balances by age group:
- Gen Z (18 to 23 years old): $ 9,593
- Millennials (24 to 39 years old): $ 78,396
- Gen X (40 to 55 years old): $ 135,841
- Baby boomers (56 to 74 years old): $ 96,984
- Silent Generation (75 years and over): $ 40,925
According to Experian, consumers in the two oldest age groups have experienced a significant drop in debt since 2015 (around -7.5% for baby boomers and -7.7% for the silent generation as a whole. ).
Meanwhile, Millennials saw the biggest increase in debt Over the past five years: In 2015, the average millennial had approximately $ 49,722 in debt, and in 2019, average total debt of $ 78,396, an increase of 58%.
Younger consumers, Gen Z, have the lowest overall debt balances on average, but they have the most difficulty making payments. About 12.24% of Gen Z credit card accounts were 30 days or more past due in 2019. Gen X has the highest average debt balance in all categories except personal loans.
Here is the breakdown:
- Credit card: Generation X have the highest credit card balance compared to other age groups, at $ 8,215.
- Auto loans: Generation X has the highest car loan balance at $ 21,570.
- Mortgages: Gen Xers have the highest average mortgage balance at $ 238,344. Millennials came close behind at $ 224,500.
- Personal loans: On average, baby boomers have the highest personal loan balances at $ 19,253 (compared to Gen Z’s lowest at $ 4,526).
- Student loans: Gen X has the highest amount of student loan debt, an average of $ 39,981.
- HELOC: Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) were on average the highest for Gen Xers, at $ 49,221.
To compare your credit profile to the averages above, pull your free credit report and sign up for a free credit monitoring service.
Experian offers a free credit monitoring service that allows you to register without providing a credit card number and gives you a single overview of your entire borrower profile. See all your credit cards and loans, along with their balances, in one place. Keep track of your payments on time and monitor your accounts for fraudulent activity.
As you can see, it’s okay to have debt, but staying in the know will protect your credit score and make sure you have access to the right types of products at lower interest rates for years to come.
On the secure Experian site
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Credit rating model used
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Editorial note: The opinions, analyzes, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.