As more people switch to cashless payment methods, the global credit card business will continue to rise year after year. Credit card debt accounts for a sizable amount of our overall national debt. It is also a significant cause of financial difficulty for many Americans who struggle to pay their payments on a monthly basis.

In this article, we’ve curated a selection of key debt statistics everyone should know heading into 2022.

Key Findings

  • Total U.S. outstanding credit card debt as of second quarter of 2021 is $860 billion
  • The average credit card debt in 2021 is $5,525 and $8,701 per household
  • Alaskans have the highest average credit card debt ($6,617), among all states
  • Americans in the 70+ and 45-54 age group hold the most credit card debt
  • Credit card debt is most prominent in the $59,000 to $95,000 income bracket at 55% and 57% respectively
  • People with more education carry higher credit card balances with college graduates carrying the most at $7,900
  • White Americans are carrying the most credit card debt, at an average of $6,940

Despite slight decreases in 2020, credit card debt is rising again

Just like with any type of debt, credit card debt has been increasing, becoming a black cloud looming over many households in the U.S. However, after nearly a decade of steady increase, total credit card debt took an unexpected downward turn in 2020.

This marks the first time in seven years that any major consumer debt category plummeted, which transpires a surprising turn of events considering the economic situation caused by COVID-19.

With things turning back to normal, credit card debt is once again headed back up. The recent Fed data reveals that credit card debt increased to $860 billion as of the second quarter of 2021 up from $770 billion in the first quarter. Despite the increase, Americans’ credit card debt is still far lower than the record established in the fourth quarter of 2019, when balances totaled $927 billion.

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