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The average credit card debt in the United States

Did you know that the average household in the United States is facing a full $129,579 in debt? That is total debt, but breaking the stats down a bit farther shows that an average of $15,355 is credit card debt.

When looking at total numbers, that means that people in the U.S. have about $712 billion in credit card debt. While that is a lot, other types of debt are even higher. Americans have $8.12 trillion in mortgage debt, $1.03 trillion in loans taken out for vehicles, and $1.21 trillion in student loans.

Experts are quick to point out that credit card debt, which is often stereotyped as debt due to poor spending habits, isn't actually always caused by irresponsible habits. To really see why the numbers have gotten so high, you have to look at the big picture.

For example, the cost of living is rising faster than the increase in wages paid. Over the last dozen years, the average income has gone up nicely, rising by 26 percent. That sounds good until you see that medical costs have gone up by 51 percent and food and drink prices have gone up by 37 percent. Unless people want to make cuts elsewhere, they accumulate more debt.

Overall, the cost of living in the same 12-year stretch is estimated to have risen by 29 percent. It may not sound like much, but that three percent has to come from somewhere. In many cases, it ends up on credit cards.

If you have a lot of credit card debt, be sure that you look into all of the options that you have to eliminate it in Pennsylvania.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study," Erin El Issa, accessed Feb. 04, 2016

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