Average American Credit Card Debt in 2023

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At first glance, credit card debt numbers in the United States look enormous. Consumers owe a record $1.129 trillion on their credit cards, and the average American credit card debt is $6,501.

We've reviewed research from government agencies and credit bureaus to get the most up-to-date data on U.S. credit card debt. Keep reading for the latest credit card debt statistics.

Key findings

  • The average American credit card debt is $6,501.
  • Americans have an average credit utilization rate of 30%.
  • Credit card interest rates have been rising and recently reached an average of 22.77%.
  • Alaska is the state with the highest average credit card debt at $7,338.
  • Wisconsin is the state with the lowest average credit card debt at $4,808.
  • White Americans have the highest average credit card debt of any racial group at $6,930.
  • Higher income corresponds to larger credit card balances, but consumers in the middle income brackets are the most likely to have credit card debt.

Average credit card debt

How much credit card debt does the average American have? The average balance is $6,501 as of the third quarter of 2023, according to Experian.

That's a 10% increase from 2022 and the first time average credit card debt has exceeded $6,000 since 2019.

Year Average credit card debt
2019 $6,194
2020 $5,315
2021 $5,221
2022 $5,910
2023 $6,501
Data source: Experian (2023).

Total U.S. credit card debt reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2023, reaching $1.129 trillion. While credit card debt fluctuated during the pandemic, it began to steadily rise in 2021 as inflation took off.

Over the last decade, credit card debt has typically accounted for between 5.5% to 6.5% of household debt.

What is the average American credit card debt per household?

The average American household has about $8,590 in credit card debt, based on the most recent U.S. credit card debt and household data.

Average credit card debt per household was calculated by dividing U.S. credit card debt in the fourth quarter of 2023 ($1.129 trillion) by the most recent data on the number of households, taken in 2023 (131.434 million).

Average credit card debt by state

Alaska has $7,338 in average credit card debt, more than any other state. Wisconsin and Iowa have the smallest average balances at $4,808 and $4,811.

Credit card debt numbers vary quite a bit by state. Here's a full list of each state's average credit card balance as of 2022.

States with the highest credit card debt

Alaska, Washington D.C., and Connecticut have had the highest average credit card debt for at least two years in a row. New Jersey and Maryland round out of the top five.

  1. Alaska: $7,338
  2. Washington, D.C.: $6,904
  3. Connecticut: $6,825
  4. New Jersey: $6,819
  5. Maryland: $6,668

States with the lowest credit card debt

Wisconsin, Iowa, and Kentucky have had the lowest average credit card for at least two years straight. Those states, along with Mississippi and West Virginia, make up the five states with the least average credit card debt.

  1. Wisconsin: $4,808
  2. Iowa: $4,811
  3. Kentucky: $4,894
  4. Mississippi: $4,912
  5. West Virginia: $5,005

Average credit utilization rate

The average credit utilization rate is 30% as of 2023, an increase of 2% from 2022 and 4.5% from 2021.

This metric, also known as a credit utilization ratio, is your credit card balances divided by your credit limits. If you have one credit card with a $1,000 balance and a $10,000 credit limit, then your credit utilization would be 10%.

Year Average credit utilization rate
2020 25.4%
2021 25.5%
2022 28.0%
2023 30.0%
Date source: Experian (2023).

Lower credit utilization is better for your credit score. The conventional wisdom is that you should keep it below 30%, so consumers are doing well managing their credit cards.

Average credit card interest rates

The average credit card APR on interest-bearing accounts is 22.77% as of the third quarter of 2023. Credit card interest rates have risen quickly since 2021, as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates.

Interest-bearing accounts include all credit cards that charge interest. It excludes credit cards that aren't charging interest at that time, so 0% intro APR credit cards don't count until the introductory period ends.

Credit card interest makes up a significant chunk of card issuers' earnings. Interest rates have shot up since 2021 from 15.91% in the first quarter of that year to 22.77% in the third quarter of 2023.

READ MORE:How Does Credit Card Interest Work?

Credit card delinquency rates

Credit card delinquency rates rose from 2022 to 2023, although not to worrying territory.

A credit card account is considered delinquent when it's at least 30 days past due, which is when it can be recorded on the cardholder's credit report. Although that already does significant damage to the cardholder's credit score and carries financial penalties, the consequences get worse as credit cards reach 60 and 90 days past due.

Days past due 2021 2022 2023
30–59 1.04% 1.67% 2.01%
60–89 0.58% 1.01% 1.26%
90 or more 0.34% 0.63% 0.81%
Data source: Experian (2023). Data from Q3 of each year.

Data from the Federal Reserve also shows credit card delinquencies on the rise, reaching 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2023 up from 5.87% the previous year and 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Average credit card debt by income

Americans in higher income brackets carry higher credit card balances on average.

However, it's the middle class and the upper-middle class that are more likely to have credit card debt. Among Americans in the 60th through 79th income percentiles, 54% have credit card debt. Those in the 40th through 59th income percentile are more likely to have credit card debt, as 57% carry a balance on their card.

It's the Americans in the highest (90th to 100th) and lowest (under 20th) income percentiles who are least likely to carry balances on their credit cards. A third of Americans in the lowest income percentile carry credit card debt, while a quarter of those in the highest income percentile have credit card debt.

Income percentile Median annual income Median credit card debt Average credit card debt Percentage with credit card debt
Less than 20% $20,540 $1,400 $3,630 33.40%
20% to 39% $43,240 $1,600 $3,840 46.40%
40% to 59% $70,260 $2,500 $5,950 56.90%
60% to 79% $115,660 $3,500 $7,440 54.40%
80% to 89% $189,160 $5,000 $8,900 44.60%
90% to 100% $390,210 $6,000 $11,210 25.40%
All families $70,260 $2,700 $6,120 45.20%
Data source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances (2023).

Average credit card debt by race

White Americans have average credit card debt of $6,930 and a median credit card balance of $3,000, the most of any racial identity/ethnicity.

Hispanic Americans have the lowest average credit card debt at $4,150, and with Black Americans, the lowest median credit card debt at $1,700.

Race/ethnicity White, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Hispanic Other All families
Median credit card debt $3,000 $1,700 $1,700 $2,970 $6,000
Average credit card debt $6,930 $4,360 $4,150 $5,910 $11,210
Percent holding credit card debt 42.20% 56.30% 55.80% 43.30% 45.20%
Data source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances (2023).

Average credit card debt by age

Generation X carries the highest average credit card balance at $8,870. That's over $1,000 more than baby boomers, who came in second with an average balance of $6,601.

The lowest average credit card debt by age was Generation Z with $3,148. Since young adults have lower incomes on average, they also have a lower average credit limit, which at least helps with avoiding credit card debt.

Generation 2022 2023
Generation Z $2,692 $3,148
Millennials $5,309 $6,274
Generation X $7,781 $8,870
Baby boomers $6,134 $6,601
Silent generation $3,305 $3,434
Data source: Experian (2023).

Credit card debt has reached $1.129 trillion in America. Credit card debt rose in nine out of 12 quarters from the first quarter of 2021 to the fourth quarter of 2023 and now accounts for over 6.5% of all debt held by Americans -- the 6% threshold having not been reached previously since 2019.

Credit card delinquency rates have risen in 2023 despite rising interest rates -- a sign that Americans are still leaning on their credit cards to cope with inflation.

Even as credit card debt and delinquencies rose in 2023, the average FICO® Score rose to 716.

Credit card utilization inched up to 30% -- combined with rising delinquency rates, this could be a worrisome sign about just how much consumers are relying on credit.

How to get out of credit card debt

As we've seen from these statistics, owing money to your credit card issuer is common. Many American credit card holders have expensive balances that are costing them interest charges every month.

If you're in this situation, here are some methods to consider that can help you get out of credit card debt:

  • Keep your credit card charges to a minimum. Either don't use credit or only use it for necessary expenses so you don't add to your debt. Since this is revolving debt, it's hard to get rid of if you continue using your credit cards.
  • Cut spending where you can. Look at your recent spending, see if there's anywhere you can cut back, and make a budget that you can use going forward. There are several budgeting apps that can help here.
  • Consider a balance transfer credit card if you have good credit. Balance transfer credit cards offer a 0% intro APR on credit card debt you transfer over. Although card issuers cut down on these offers at the start of the pandemic, there are now plenty of quality balance transfer cards available, and they're the best credit card option for paying off debt.
  • Look into debt consolidation loans. Debt consolidation loans typically have lower interest rates than most credit cards (excluding the 0% intro APR certain cards offer on purchases and/or balance transfers). They also have a fixed payment amount and length, which can provide the structure needed to eliminate credit card debt.
  • Explore other options if you can't make your monthly payments. You may be able to negotiate with your credit card issuer to lower your interest rate or monthly payment amount. Another option is to look into nonprofit organizations that offer credit counseling or a credit card hardship program.

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