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How in Debt Are Average Americans?

If you carry a significant amount of debt, you are not alone. In 2009, Visualeconomics, whose information has appeared in BusinessWeek, Business Insider, U.S. News, and The New York Times, reported its analysis that the average American:

  • Over a lifetime will pay more than $600,000 in interest
  • Currently has a total of 13 credit obligations
  • Refinances a mortgage to consolidate overwhelming debt from a variety of sources
  • Has a 50 percent chance of paying higher overall loan amounts when refinancing
  • Uses loans to finance every vehicle driven in the household
  • Has a household that owns two or more vehicles
  • Has a household with $10,637 in credit card debt
  • Has a home mortgage that costs $240,000
  • Pays over $580,000 on a mortgage after 30 years
  • Revolving credit vs. non-revolving credit

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced in April 2012 that consumer credit increased at an annual rate of three percent in April. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 4.75 percent. Revolving credit refers to credit that an individual can obtain as they continue to pay lenders. Credit cards are an example of revolving credit. Non-revolving credit does not extend more credit with payments. Examples of non-revolving credit are car loans, student loans and other types of loans. Non-revolving debt increased in April 2012 at an annual rate of seven percent.

The statistic showing the overall monthly credit card debt amounts may not account for the fact that some Americans carry no credit card debt or pay off their credit card balances every month. The Federal Reserve indicated in 2009 that 56 percent of Americans did just that. Yet, the Federal Reserve also indicated in 2009 that 44 percent of households had various types of debt and their annual incomes did not adequately cover their spending to maintain current lifestyles.

If you are struggling with insurmountable debt, a bankruptcy lawyer can advise solutions that are in your best interests.

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