Keeping up with the Joneses usually leads you down a bad financial path, so why look at personal finance statistics like the ones below?

These types of statistics give you a baseline to compare to as you assess your own financial health. You can assess if a financial challenge is unique to you or if it’s endemic due to a weak economy. Are you falling behind because of debt or are you ahead of the curve with a well-balanced household budget?

Use the financial statistics below to see where you stand. Just keep in mind that financial success is almost always relative. What one household counts as success may be just getting by for another. See how you stack up and use that information to plan your next financial moves.

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 2016.

How does your budget compare to these household personal finance statistics?

In 2016 the average household earned $74,664. Average expenditures were $57,311, leaving $17,353 in free cash flow

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

  • 33% of housing costs go to rent and mortgage payments
  • The average household spends 56% of their food budget on groceries and 44% on dining out
  • 40% of transportation costs go to the vehicle, such as paying off an auto loan; 21% goes to gas and oil, with the remaining 32% spent on other costs, such as repairs
  • For health care costs, 69% covers insurance

Winter holiday spending

Americans spend more money this time of year than any other – and 2019 won’t be an exception. Ninety-one percent plan to celebrate the winter holidays this year, according to research from the National Retail Federation.

The average amount they’ll spend? A whopping $1,048 on holiday decorations, food, gifts, and shipping costs. Here’s a breakdown of where that money will go to:

  • $659 for gifts for family, friends and coworkers
  • $227 will go to food and decorations
  • $162 on other non-gift purchases

With that large a figure pegged on holiday spending, it’s safe to say most Americans will go into debt for the holidays. A 2018 study from MagnifyMoney reported they borrowed $1,230 to fund the holidays – and 64% didn’t plan to. Here’s a breakdown of the types of debt they and how many used them:

  • Credit cards: 68%
  • Store cards: 10%
  • Personal loan: 14%
  • Payday/title loan: 7%
  • Home equity loan: 1%

And with that debt comes interest charges. Here’s how much the average consumer took on for their debts:

  • Less than 10%: 38%
  • 10-19%: 30%
  • 20-29%: 25%
  • 30%+: 7%

How many Americans actually keep a formal budget?

A Gallup poll found only about 1/3 of Americans (32%) maintain a household budget

  • Only 30% of Americans have a long-term financial plan that includes savings and investment goals
  • You’re mosty likely to budget if you make at least $75,000 per year

The average American spends less than 4.5 hours a year with scheduled time on their calendar for finances, according to

Treading financial water

A 2017 report in MarketWatch found that half of American households currently live paycheck to paycheck

  • 19% have $0 saved to cover an emergency expenses; 31% have less than $500 in emergency savings
  • Not surprisingly, about 49% of Americans are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being”
  • Interestingly enough, low income is not always to blame for financial hardship. Only 1 in 5 people (20%) facing financial hardship fall below the poverty line and make less than $40,000 per year

However, a separate 2017 survey by Career Builder found more than three-fourths of U.S. workers they surveyed struggled to make ends meet.

  • One in 10 earn $100,000 or more annually
  • 28% earn $50,000 – $99,999 yearly

Need a little help getting your budget in order? Tiller spreadsheets make budgeting fast and hassle-free!

Get StartedCall To Action Link

Total American Debt

[On-screen text] Personal Finance Statistics: Total American Debt

Narrator: Total American debt is higher than ever

[On-screen text] Total Credit Card Debt is $764 billion, Total Student Loan Debt is $1.4 Trillion

Narrator: Credit card debt stands at 7 hundred and 64 billion dollars while student loan debt is over ONE trillion dollars

[On-screen text] Total Nonrevolving Debt (Loans) = $2.7 Trillion

Narrator: Non-revolving debt, including student loans, are part of the reason Americans owe 2.7 trillion dollars

[On-screen text] More Americans are in debt, too

Narrator: Indebtedness is widespread

[On-screen text] 63% of Americans carry credit card balances

Narrator: 157 million Americans have credit card debt

[On-screen text] 17% have student loan debt

Narrator: And 44 million people have student loan debt

[On-screen text] AVERAGE DEBT BY HOUSEHOLD: Mortgage = $180,018, Student loans = $50,868, Auto loans = $29,058, Credit cards = $16,425, Total Average Debt = $136,643

Narrator: Average American household debt levels are high across the board with close to $50,000 in student loans and over $16,000 in credit card debt

[On-screen text] 49% of Americans say they are “concerned or fearful” about their financial well-being

Narrator: It’s no wonder almost half of Americans feel stressed about their finances

[On-screen text] Subscribe to our newsletters for updates & news. 1-844-402-3574. – when life happens…

Narrator: If debt has you stressed, visit or call 884-402-3574 to find the solution that’s right for you

Americans now have record-high credit card and student loan debt. Auto loan debt also broke some records last year.

According to the latest 2018 data from the Federal Reserve:

  • Americans hold over $1 trillion in credit card debt ($1,023,000,000,000)
  • Nonrevolving debt (loans) total over $2.8 trillion ($2,842,400,000,000)

According to a Y charts investment company:

  • To kick off 2018, the total outstanding auto loan debt totals $1.22 trillion ($1,221,000,000,000)

According to NerdWallet’s latest 2017 data this is the average American debt:

Current avg. balance owed in Q1 2017 Previous avg. balance owed in Q4 2016 Change
Total debt $135,924 $136,643 -$719
Mortgage $180,018 $176,222 +$3,796
Credit cards $16,245 $16,748 -$323
Student loans $50,868 $44,905 +$5,963
Auto loans $29,058 $28,948 -$110

NerdWallet attributes the increase in American indebtedness to the fact that cost of living consistently outpaces income growth. While household income levels grew 28% in the past 13 years, cost of living increased by 30%.

Percentage of Americans in debt

A 2017 CNBC article reveals:

  • 157 million Americans have credit card debt to pay off
  • 44 million have student loan debt outstanding

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data put 2017 population estimates at almost 326 million (325,719,178) people; however, 22.8% of that number are under 18. That leaves roughly 251,455,205 adults in the U.S. So…

  • Roughly 62.4% of American adults carry credit card debt balances
  • While 17.5% of Americans carry student loan

That shows just how much of a problem student loan debt is for borrowers. More Americans hold credit card debt. However, student loan debt is the second largest source of debt after mortgages. So, fewer Americans have more total debt in that category.

Defaults and delinquencies on the rise

Several reports released in 2017 show more borrowers have fallen behind on their payments:

  • CNBC reports 1 million borrowers defaulted on at least one student loan in 2016 – that’s roughly 4.5% of borrowers
  • Meanwhile, the American Bankers Association found delinquency rates on the rise for both auto loans and credit cards:
    • Credit card delinquencies increased to 2.74% in 2016
    • Auto loan delinquencies rose to 0.87%

Average American Financing

[On-screen text] What does the average American loan and credit line look like?

Narrator: Just because the average household has over $136,000 in debt, it doesn’t mean we’re slowing down in seeking new financing

[On-screen text] Average Student Loan Debt is $37,172

Narrator: In student loans, the average graduate now leaves school with over $37,000 in loans to repay

[On-screen text] Average Monthly Student Loan Payment for 20-30 year-olds in $351

Narrator: For a borrower age 20-30 years old, your average monthly payment is about $350

[On-screen text] Direct Loans: Undergraduate = 3.76%, Graduate = 5.31%, PLUS parent loans = 6.31%

Narrator: If you plan on getting new student loans, here are the current interest rates for federal loans

[On-screen text] Average credit card APR = 15.59%, Credit Cards with Bad Credit = 23.04%

Narrator: For new credit cards, interest rates are higher now than they were in 2016. But a bad credit score means an even higher APR.

[On-screen text] Average credit card limit if you have a bad credit score (300-499) = $509, excellent credit score (781-850) = $9,543

Narrator: Your available credit limit also depends on your credit score

[On-screen text] 62% of auto loans have terms OVER 60 months, 20% have terms from 73-84 months

Narrator: Auto loans today have longer and longer terms

[On-screen text] Average car payment = $499, up from $483 last year

Narrator: Yet the average monthly payment is up to almost $500

[On-screen text] Average car loans: New Car = $28,667, Used Car = $17,242

Narrator: The average amount financed for a new car versus a used car varies by more than $10,000

[On-screen text] Average mortgage = $309,200

Narrator: Finally in mortgages, the average home loan as of January 2017 was over $300,000

[On-screen text] Average 30-year mortgage APR = 4.1%, Average monthly payment = $1,491

Narrator: With an average interest rate of 4.1% on a 30-year mortgage, the average monthly payment was almost $1,500

[On-screen text] Subscribe to our newsletters for updates & news. 1-844-402-3574. – when life happens…

Narrator: If you need help to pay off all this debt, visit or call 884-402-3574

Auto loans

According to a WalletHub auto financing report:

  • In 2016, the average new car auto loan financing cost was $28,667.30
  • The average used car auto loan financed $17,241.59

USA Today reported:

  • The average monthly car payment last year his $499, up from $483 the previous year

Many Americans also opt for longer terms now. Edmunds reports:

  • 62% of auto loans in 2014 had terms longer than 60 months
  • 20% had terms from 73- to 84-months

Credit card debt

Experian credit data reported on Motley Fool shows credit limits vary based on credit score:

  • Super prime credit (781-850) = $9,543
  • Prime (661-780) = $5,209
  • Near-prime (601-660) = $2,277
  • Subprime (500-600) = $966
  • Deep subprime (300-499) = $509

Following 2 interest rate hikes this year, reports average credit card interest rates broke records in 2017:

  • National average APR = 15.59%
  • Low interest credit cards = 12.44%
  • Cash-back credit cards = 15.63%
  • Balance transfer credit cards = 14.86%
  • Airline credit cards = 15.59%
  • Credit cards for bad credit scores = 23.04%

Student loan debt

More than 40 million Americans have student loan debt, Time Money reports.

Almost six million (5.9 million) — or 14 percent — owe more than $50,000, says a study from Brookings Institution.   

Brookings Institution reports $1.4 trillion in student debt. Student loans are second-largest household debt in the U.S. following housing.

  • At least 28 percent default on their loans

The Department of Education collected more than $4.4 billion in defaulted student loans in the first quarter of 2017. provides current interest rate information for federal student loans as of July 1, 2017:

  • Direct loans for undergraduates: 4.45%
  • Direct loans for graduates: 6 %
  • PLUS loans for parents: 7%

Mortgage debt

According to a 2017 article in The Motley Fool:

  • The average loan amount on a new mortgage is $309,200
  • The average interest rate on a 30-year traditional fixed-rate mortgage is 4.1%
  • As a result, the average homeowners pay a monthly payment of $1,494
  • FHA loans for first-time homebuyers average $190,000

If you’re facing challenges with debt, visit’s Solutions Center today so you can get out of debt fast, minimize interest charges and save your credit!

Find SolutionsCall To Action Link

Average American Credit Scores

[On-screen text] Average American Credit Scores

Narrator: Good credit is a big part of your ability to be financially successful. So, how do average Americans score today?

[On-screen text] 695 was the average 2016 FICO score

Narrator: Americans actually have improved their credit in recent years. In fact, FICO scores hit a record average high last year

[On-screen text] 41% of people 30-39 years old have deep subprime credit scores between 300-499; likewise, only 38% of people under 30 have scores that low

Narrator: Although credit scores usually improve with age, people 30 to 39 years old have the highest number of subprime credit scores

[On-screen text] Average family scores: Low income = 644, High income = 775

Narrator: And there’s more than 100-point difference in scores from low-income earners to high-income earners

[On-screen text] For FHA home loans 689 is the average FICO score vs. a 755 score for a traditional mortgage

Narrator: Homebuyer credit scores vary from 689 for FHA loans to 755 for traditional loans

[On-screen text] People who buy used cars have an average score of 643 vs. new car buyers at 714

Narrator: Scores are also higher for new car buyers versus used car buyers

[On-screen text] 591 is the average score of bankruptcy filers

Narrator: If you declare bankruptcy, you may fall into a subprime credit score category

[On-screen text] Subscribe to our newsletters for updates & news. 1-844-402-3574. – when life happens…

Narrator: For more tips and tools on how to build your credit, visit or call 884-402-3574

The average FICO credit score broke records in 2017 – the average American has a 700 FICO score.

According to a report on ValuePenguin:

  • Average credit score tends to improve with age, except if you’re age 30-39
    • Only 38% of credit users under age 30 have deep subprime scores; this increases to 41% at age 30-39
  • Credit score also increases by income:
    • The average score is 664 for low-income earners (50% of Median Family Income)
    • But the average score for high-income earners is 775 (120% of MFI)

Credit Sesame reported:

  • The average FICO score for mortgage applicants for 2017:
    • 680 for a traditional mortgage
    • 580 for FHA loans
  • Average credit score for new car buyers: 714
    • Average for used car buyers: 643
  • Among Credit Sesame users, the average credit score for someone who filed for bankruptcy is 591

WalletHub also released a map that shows the 2017’s best and worst credit scores by city:

  • Residents in The Villages, Florida have the highest average credit scores at 778.77
  • Meanwhile, residents in Camden, New Jersey have the lowest average credit scores at 566.07

Want to improve your credit score?’s Solutions Center has a variety of tools to help you achieve and maintain good credit.

Build Good CreditCall To Action Link

Savings and Retirement Statistics

[On-screen text] How well are Americans saving?

Narrator: Financial stability is gained by having savings, but most Americans are falling behind

[On-screen text] Only 37% of Americans can cover a $500-$1,000 emergency

Narrator: Only 37 Percent have enough savings to cover a $500 to $1,000 emergency

[On-screen text] Average household savings = $33,766, Median household savings = $5,200

Narrator: According to the federal reserve the average household savings is about $33,000, but the median saving for all working-age families is just $5,200

[On-screen text] Income $25,000 or less, Savings $500 or less; Income $50K or less, Savings $1,500; Income $115K or more, Savings $10,000; Income $160K or more, Savings $50,000

Narrator: Average savings increases exponentially as incomes grow

[On-screen text] 23% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement

Narrator: Retirement savings are on shaky ground; almost 1 in 4 Americans having less than $10,000 saved

[On-screen text] 33% of Americans have $0 saved for their golden years

Narrator: In fact, 33% of Americans have $0 saved for retirement

[On-screen text] 8% of Americans have $100K – $199K, 5% have $200K – $299K, 13% have $300K or more saved

Narrator: And only 26% of have more than $100,000 saved

[On-screen text] Subscribe to our newsletters for updates & news. 1-844-402-3574. – when life happens…

Narrator: For more information on how to eliminate debt and save effectively, visit or call 844-402-3574

As of February 2017, the Federal Reserve listed the average personal savings rate in the U.S. at 5.6%. This means the average American household saves just over half of what they should save. Experts recommend that your personal savings rate should be 10% of your income.

  • American’s haven’t hit that recommend target since May 1985
  • The personal savings rate peaked in the U.S. in 1975 when the average personal savings rate hit a record 17.1%
  • Savings hit its lowest point in 2005 when we bottomed out at just 1.9%

Saving statistics

  • A 2018 survey from Bankrate revealed that (Numbers match what previously reported.)
    • Only 39% of Americans could have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency
    • 44 % couldn’t cover a $400 out-of-pocket emergency expense

From ValuePenguin:

  • While the average household savings balance is $33,766.49, the median is just $5,200
  • Savings by income:
    • If you make less than $25,000 annually, you probably have less than $500 saved
    • If you make less than $50,000, you average $1,500
    • You have to make at least $115,000 annually before you hit an average of $10,000
    • And those who make more than $160,000 have $50,000 on average
  • Savings by age:
    • Under 35: $1,580
    • 34-44: $5,000
    • 45-64: $6,500
    • 55-64: $8,500
    • 65-74: $10,000
    • 75+: $11,000
  • Men have a median savings balance of $7,000, while females come out at just $2,000
  • Savings by race:
    • White non-Hispanic: $7,140
    • Black: $1,000
    • Hispanic: $1,500

Retirement statistics

A GOBankingRates report finds 13.7 percent of Americans have $0 saved for retirement.

  • 28.6% have less than $10,000
  • More are 27% more likely to have no retirement savings
  • 8 out of 10 Millennials have started a retirement fund
  • But Millennials are 6% less likely to have retirement savings than Gen Xers
  • 63% of Gen X has more than $10,000 saved and 40% have over $100,000

A separate report by Smart Asset finds:

  • 29% of households 55 and over have no retirement savings or pension
  • The median net worth for Americans age 35-44 is $14,226
  • The median for ages 55-64 is $45,447
  • The average Social Security benefit paid out $1,354.04 per month in 2016

Article last modified on July 14, 2021. Published by, LLC