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Table of Contents breaks down how the average American household spends and saves.

The federal government’s national debt is complicated at best, but what about individual debt? Well, it’s just as complex.

Are your financial problems unique, or are they symptoms of a struggling economy? curated data to paint a picture of America’s overall financial state. The statistics below include research on credit card debt, medical debt, budgeting, spending, and more.

Here’s how Americans are handling their money by the numbers.

Budgeting and Spending Statistics

Each year the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases an overview of average household money management stats. The most recent report covers spending habits for 2022.

In 2022, the average household earned $94,003, before taxes. Average expenditures were $72,967, leaving $21,036 in free cash flow.

Here’s how some of the budget categories that you see break down:

  • Around 23% of housing costs go towards mortgage payments and property taxes, while 21% of housing costs are spent on rent.
  • The average household spends 61% of their food budget on groceries and 39% on dining out
  • 37% of transportation costs go towards vehicle purchases, such as paying off an auto loan; 25% goes to gas and oil, with the remaining 31% spent on other costs, such as repairs
  • For healthcare, 66% of the budget covers health insurance 

Winter holiday spending

Americans spend more money this time of year than any other – and in 2023, holiday shopping hit a a record high. According to research from the National Retail Federation, more than 200 million Americans “shopped over the five-day holiday weekend from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.” This amount was up from 2022, which also saw a record of 196.7 million.

The average shopper spent about $321 on “holiday essentials” during Thanksgiving weekend (such items included decorations, food, gifts, and shipping costs). Here’s a breakdown of where that money went:

  • 49% towards clothing and accessories
  • 31% on toys
  • 25% went to gift cards

With that large a figure pegged on holiday spending, it’s safe to say Americans will go into debt for the holidays. A 2023 holiday spending survey from reports that 3 in 5 consumers expect higher prices this season due to inflation – more than half will rely on credit cards to cover the bills.

Here’s a breakdown of what consumers spent during the 2022 holiday season according to’s poll:

Amount spent during the 2022 holiday seasonPercentage of respondents
$50 to $10010.72%
$101 to $20013.78%
$901 to $1,0005.93%
More than $1,00010.14%

How many Americans actually keep a formal budget?

In its annual budgeting survey, reveals that more than 8 in 10 Americans budget – a 16% increase over the last five years.

Wanting to grow wealth and savings prompted 39% of those polled to start a budget. Other reasons included getting out of debt (23%) and keeping up with rising costs of living (16%). Out of those who budget, more than 86% say keeping track of income and expenses has helped them get out or stay out of debt.

Treading financial water

Despite the majority of people budgeting, half of the country is living paycheck to paycheck. Bankrate reports that:

  • To feel “financially comfortable,” 45% of Americans need to earn $100,000 or more
  • 57% of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 unplanned expense 
  • Only 28% of Americans think they are “completely financially secure”

However, in its 2023 research on Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2019 to 2022, the Federal Reserve found that American families’ assets have seen growth:

  • Between 2019 and 2022, the “conditional median value” of assets such as checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts increased by 30%
  • Over half of Americans held different types of retirement accounts – individual, 401(k), 403(b), and thrift savings accounts – in 2022, up nearly 4% from 2019
  • 21% of families had “direct ownership of stocks” in 2022 – a record-breaking change from 15% in 2019

A separate 2023 survey of over 4,000 U.S. consumers conducted by the parent company of LendingClub Bank and PYMNTS found that the paycheck-to-paycheck population is adjusting their spending habits to be able to pay their bills.

  • 70% of those polled made increased efforts to “manage credit card payments” in 2022.
  • Average credit card balances equal about 35% of consumers’ available savings, while those living paycheck to paycheck have balances that equal 62% of available savings.
  • Consumers struggling to pay their monthly bills owe as much as 157% of their available savings – so they would still have credit card debt “even if they emptied their savings accounts.” 

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Total American Debt

Credit card debt, student loan debt, and auto debt have fluctuated within the last few years.

According to the latest 2023 data from the Federal Reserve:

  • Americans held over $1.08 trillion in credit card debt as of Q3
  • Total household debt in Q3 – including mortgage, credit card, and student loan balances – totaled $17.29 trillion

Investment research company YCharts reports that:

  • U.S. auto loan debt totaled $1.595 trillion in Q3, up from $1.524 trillion the year before

In NerdWallet’s 2022 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, this is the breakdown of each type of debt:

 Avg. balance owed in 2022Total debt owed in U.S.Percent Change (2021-2022)
Total debt$170,182$17.05 trillion+7.61%
Mortgage$228,640$12.04 trillion+7.73%
Credit cards (revolving)$7,876$488.66 billion+38.7%
Student loans$59,461$1.6 trillion+0.88%
Auto loans$29,107$1.56 trillion+6.33%

NerdWallet attributes the increase in American indebtedness to the fact that cost of living consistently outpaces income growth. While median household income levels have grown by 4% in the past year, cost of living has increased by 8%.

Percentage of Americans in debt

A 2023 GOBankingRates article reveals:

  • 3 in 5 Americans have credit card debt to pay off
  • 48% of Americans use credit cards to pay their bills (even more millennials rely on credit cards: 59%)
  • Every month Americans spend an average of $1,506 on their credit cards (millennials spend $2,410)

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data put 2022 population estimates at more than 333 million (333,287,557) people; however, 21.7% of that figure are under 18. That leaves roughly 260,964,158 adults in the U.S.

Online business marketplace LendingTree analyzed credit reports of over 370,000 borrowers and found that the average credit card debt for a household in Kentucky is $5, 408 – that number jumps all the way up to $9,408 for a family in Connecticut.

  • Half of all U.S. states “saw their average credit card debt grow by 10% or more.”
  • Roughly 56% of active accounts carried credit card debt balances in 2022.

The amount of borrowers 30 days or more past due on payments is 2.77%. Despite growing over the past year from 2.43%, that number is still significantly lower than it was during the Great Recession in 2009 when delinquency rates reached 7%.

Average American Financing

Auto loans

Auto financing data from Bankrate and Experian confirms that credit scores have a big impact on interest rates for car loans. Here are average rates according to credit scores for Q3 of 2023:

Credit scoreAverage rate for new car loansAverage rate for used car loans
  • The average monthly payment for financing a new car is $729
  • The average monthly payment for financing a used car is $528
  • The average monthly payment for car insurance is $168

Many Americans opt for longer loan terms in order to lower their monthly payment amount. Car shopping website Edmunds reports:

  • Borrowers on average select a loan term of 70-72 months.
  • In 2022, terms longer than 60 months made up 73% of new car loans (up 33% from 2010).
  • The average loan amount for a new car in Q1 of 2022 was $39,340.

Credit card debt

Experian credit data reported on Bankrate shows credit limits vary based on generation and FICO score:

  • Generation Z (ages 18-22) [FICO: 667] = $8,062
  • Millennials (ages 23-38) [FICO: 668] = $20,647
  • Generation X (ages 39-54) [FICO: 688] = $33,357
  • Baby Boomers (ages 55-73) [FICO: 731] = $39,919
  • Silent Generation (ages 74 plus) [FICO: 756] = $32,338

Household credit card debt reached $10,170 in the second quarter of 2023 – the worst it’s been in 20 years.

In 30 years, WalletHub says balances have increased by more than 82%.

With inflation still looming and an economy that hasn’t quite recovered from pandemic price hikes and supply shortages, the country charged $43 billion it can’t pay back. This is despite more than 9 in 10 Americans adjusting their spending to compensate for high costs in 2023.

Here’s a closer look at the country’s relationship with credit card debt over the years.

Household credit card debt$500$2,966$5,365$7,980$6,612$6,842*
National credit card debt$82 billion$238 billion$692 billion$753 billion*$855 billion*$1.031 trillion
Average interest rate17.3%18.17%15.77%*13.85%*14.81%*21.99%*
* averaged these totals using multiple year-round data points

In a study by Credit Karma, more than 74 million members with active credit card accounts had their data analyzed. Generation X and baby boomer members held the highest average credit card debt. As of February 2023, the average credit card debt for each generation was:

  • Generation Z (born 1997-2012): $2,781
  • Millennials (born 1981-1996): $5,898
  • Generation X (born 1965-1980): $8,266
  • Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964): $7,464
  • Silent Generation (born 1928-1945): $5,649

Student loan debt

More than 43 million Americans have federal student loan debt, Education Data reports.

Bankrate confirms this number, also reporting:

  • Americans collectively owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loans
  • Over half of undergraduates carry student loan debt after completing college
  • The average loan amount for college students is $29,100

Student loans account for “9% of the nation’s consumer debt” and are the second-largest household debt in the U.S., following housing.

According to survey research from Clever Real Estate, a quarter of millennials carry student loan debt, and 16% owe $150,000 or more.

Data from college resource and ranking website BestColleges reveals that by the end of 2021, about 7% of all student loan debt was in default ($86.08 billion); The three-year student loan default rate has lowered significantly since 2020 due to government relief programs, dropping from 10.1% in 2019 to 2.3% in 2022.

  • The median loan balance for delinquent and defaulted student loans in 2021 was $15,307.
  • About 25% of delinquent or defaulted student loan borrowers owe less than $6,200. provides current interest rate information for federal student loans as of July 1, 2023 to July 1, 2024:

  • Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans (undergraduates): 5.50% 
  • Direct unsubsidized loans (graduates or professionals): 7.05% 
  • Direct PLUS loans (parents, graduates, or professional students): 8.05% 

After the “pandemic-era pause,” CNBC announced that only 60% of borrowers made a payment by mid-November 2023.

Mortgage debt

Mortgage data collected by LendingTree outlines the latest statistics: 

  • The average loan amount on a new mortgage is $224,398 – loans were highest in Hawaii ($464,994) and lowest in West Virginia ($150,245).
  • The average interest rate on a 30-year traditional fixed-rate mortgage in 2023 was 6.79%.
  • The average percentage of mortgage debt that is 90 or more days overdue is 0.5%.

Rocket Mortgage reports that, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), “in 2022 the average monthly mortgage payment was $2,317.” In Q2 of 2023, the average sales price for a single-family home was $402,600.

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Average American Credit Scores

The average U.S. FICO credit score in 2023 is 718, up two points from last year. Medical collection accounts under $500 were removed from consumer credit files starting in April 2023.

  • In 2022, Experian data confirms that Americans’ credit scores (FICO) tend to improve with age…
    • Ages 18-25 have an average score of 679
    • Ages 26-41 have an average score of 687
    • Ages 42-57 have an average score of 706
    • Ages 58-76 have an average score of 742
    • Ages 77+ have an average score of 760
  • Credit scores also increases in regards to income:
    • The average score is 658 for low-income earners (50% of Median Family Income)
    • But the average score for high-income earners is 774 (120% of Median Family Income)

Nerdwallet reported:

  • The average score for mortgage applicants was:
    • 620 for conventional loans
    • 500 for FHA loans
    • 640 for VA and USDA loans

WalletHub released a map that shows 2023’s highest and lowest median credit scores by city:

  • Residents in New Brunswick, New Jersey have the highest median credit scores at 816
  • Meanwhile, residents in South Bend, Indiana have the lowest median credit scores at 448

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Savings and Retirement Statistics

As of January 2023, the Federal Reserve listed the average personal savings rate in the U.S. at 4.4% – two percentage points lower than the same time one year prior. In September, it dropped to 3.8%, then raised back up slightly to 4.1% in November.

Experts recommend that your personal savings rate should be 10% of your income.

  • The most recent time Americans hit this recommended savings target was April 2021, at 12.3%
  • The personal savings rate peaked in the U.S. in April 2020 when the average personal savings rate hit a record 32%
  • Savings hit its lowest point in July 2005 when we bottomed out at just 1.4%

Saving statistics

According to Bankrate’s 2023 annual emergency savings report, just under half of American adults (48%) report having enough money set aside “to cover at least three months’ worth of expenses.”

  • 22% have no emergency savings
  • 30% have some savings, but not enough to cover three months
  • 18% can cover three to five months of bills
  • 30% have enough to cover six months or more

The chart below details how these respondents are saving based on income:

Income rangeNo emergency savingsThree months of expenses or more savedSix months of expenses or more saved
Under $50,000 a year37%28%16%
$50,000 to $74,99918%49%29%
$75,000 to $99,99910%61%41%
$100,000 or more5%75%50%
Bankrate survey, May 2023

Younger Americans “are more likely to have little to no emergency savings.” Only 15% of baby boomers (ages 59-77) have no emergency savings – more than twice as many (31%) Gen Zers (ages 18-26) also go without emergency funds.

In a 2023 personal finance survey of 2,000 American adults, financial review website The Ascent broke down savings information by race and ethnicity.

  • Percentage of Americans who save over 10% of their monthly income by race/ethnicity:
    • Asian: 41%
    • Black: 49%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 60%
    • White: 34%
    • People of color: 51%
  • Percentage of Americans who have enough in savings to cover three months of bills:
    • Asian: 47%
    • Black: 44%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 57%
    • White: 37%
    • People of color: 50%

One-third of the last decade’s college graduates have less than $5,000 put away in savings. More than 5% have no savings account at all.

Clever Real Estate reveals that “44% of Americans do not regularly put a portion of their paycheck into savings,” while nearly the same amount had to use retirement or emergency savings to cover bills.

Retirement statistics

The Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022 notes that “twenty-seven percent of adults in 2022 considered themselves to be retired.” Its research confirms that:

  • Social Security is still the “most common source” of income for retirees.
  • However, most retirees collect additional forms of income like pensions, rental payments, and earnings from part-time labor.
  • Those who report earning income from labor are “generally younger … and many had a working spouse.”

Only 31% of those not yet retired but saving up for it feel like they’re “on track” with their retirement goals. That’s a notable drop from 40% in 2021. Out-of-pocket medical expenses caused 13% of non-retirees to borrow from or cash out retirement savings accounts, while 14% had to do the same because of job loss.

As of November 2023, Social Security’s Monthly Statistical Snapshot provides current payout data for retirement benefits recipients.

  • Retired workers receive an average monthly benefit of $1,844.76
  • Spouses of retired workers receive an average monthly benefit of $885.52
  • Children of retired workers receive an average monthly benefit of $862.03

Investment advisor group Vanguard released its annual research publication How America Saves 2023. Information was collected from nearly 5 million defined contribution plan participants:

  • In 2022, the average account balance was $112,572 and the median balance was $27,376
  • Average account balances “decreased by 20% since year-end 2021”
  • 2.8% of participants “initiated a hardship withdrawal” in 2022

About 1 in 7 plans were utilized offering a match type of “50% on first 6% of pay” – two-thirds of participants benefited from their employers’ full matching contribution. Even so, 5 in 10 Americans are not putting money aside for retirement, citing low salaries and high cost of living as the reason they can’t save for the future.

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