You Won't Believe What Americans Are Paying Toward Debts Every Month

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  • Many consumers carry some amount of debt.
  • If yours is getting too difficult to manage, it's time to come up with a payoff plan.
  • Consider changing up your budget, adding a second job, or refinancing your debt.

It's a pretty large number, to say the least.

For many of us, debt is a part of life. Consumers commonly borrow money in the form of a mortgage to purchase a home, or in the form of an auto loan to finance a vehicle. It's even pretty common to carry a credit card balance for those expenses our regular paychecks can't cover.

But there may come a point when your debt is too much to handle. And for many Americans, that point may be right now.

New York Life's latest Wealth Watch survey reveals that Americans are spending an average of $732.91 on debt payments each month. Now to be fair, that's not a very large number if it includes a mortgage payment. But most likely, that figure doesn't include mortgages, simply because it's too low to reasonably account for a home loan payment. 

On the other hand, that $732.91 might include debt like credit card balances, personal loans, and auto loans. And in that case, it's a pretty large sum.

You might spend a lot more than $732.91 on your monthly debt payments. Or maybe your debt payments are comparable, or even a bit less. But if they've become a burden, it's time to shed your debt as quickly as you can. Here's how.

1. Rethink your budget

If you're able to start spending less of your paycheck, you'll have that much more money to use for debt payoff purposes. Take a look at your current expenses and see if there's a way to cut back in certain categories. You may not be able to negotiate your rent downward, but that doesn't mean you can't cancel cable and cut back on takeout meals. In fact, it's a good idea to come up with a whole new budget to follow -- one that frees up more of your income.

2. Pick up a second job

Cutting back on spending isn't the only way to free up more money to pay off debt. You can also boost your income with a side hustle and use your earnings to chip away at your loans or credit card balances. These days, the gig economy is pretty solid, so think about the sort of side work you have time for and sign up to start earning more money.

3. Make your existing debt less expensive

If you're carrying a balance on a credit card, you may be paying a whole lot of interest. In that case, you may want to see if you qualify to transfer your balance onto a new card with a 0% introductory APR. Another option along these lines is to take out a personal loan and use it to pay a credit card off. That personal loan might come with a much lower interest rate, which, in turn, could make your debt less costly.

If you're spending an uncomfortably large chunk of your income on debt payments, it's time to bust out of that cycle. And the sooner you do, the less money you stand to throw away on interest.

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