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Debt in America: A problem across generations

Right now, Americans are in debt at an amount of approximately $14.1 trillion, based on the 2019 Consumer Debt Study by Experian. That number is made up of debt from credit cards, student loans, auto loans and mortgages. On average, each American carries a personal debt of around $90,460.

Who carries the most debt in America?

The generation carrying the most debt is Generation X, which has an average debt amount of around $135,841. Millennials have an average debt load of around $78,396 per person. Why so high? These groups are the most likely to have large mortgages and student loans, as well as other personal debts.

Why do people get into debt?

Some people were raised to believe that credit cards and debt were awful to take on, while others were taught that carrying a small amount of debt was essential to build credit.

At the core, though, there is the fact that most people in America simply cannot afford a home, car or certain other items outright. Taking on debt is a way to break those large purchases down into payments, which is one of the only ways for most people to buy what they need.

What happens when the debt becomes too much to handle?

When debt becomes overwhelming, it poses a risk to consumers. Some debts, like federal student loans, can be deferred or placed on plans based on income. Other debts, like car payments or mortgages, need to be paid. If they aren't, a vehicle could be repossessed, or the homeowner could go into foreclosure.

If you're struggling with debt, don't wait too long to seek help. There are debt relief options available.

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