Jaw-Dropping Stats About the State of Debt in America

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fstop123 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Most Americans have some credit card debt. A recent GOBankingRates survey found that 30% of Americans have between $1,001 and $5,000 in credit card debt, 15% have $5,001 or more in credit card debt and about 6% have more than $10,000 in credit card debt. Although 6% may seem like a small amount, that means that based on the survey results, 14 million Americans have over $10,000 of credit card debt.

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Here’s a look at even more jaw-dropping stats about the state of credit card debt in America.

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Nearly One-Quarter of Americans Believe It Will Take 2 Years or More To Pay Off Their Credit Card Debt

Although 59% of Americans believe they will be able to pay off all of their credit card debt at some point in the next six months, a good portion thinks it will take two years or longer. Thirteen percent believe it will take a couple of years, 8% believe they will be able to pay off their debt within five years and 2% believe they will never pay it off.

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15% of Americans Have Been in Credit Card Debt for 15 Years

A separate survey conducted by Inside 1031 found that 55% of people carry a credit card balance from month to month. In addition, 40% haven’t been credit card debt-free since before 2018 — and 15% have had credit card debt since before 2006.

Read: The Top Things To Consider Before Applying for a New Credit Card

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Nearly Half of Americans Need Credit Cards To Cover Essential Living Expenses

The Inside 1031 survey found that 49% of Americans depend on credit cards to cover essential living expenses. This is more common among younger generations: 61% of Gen Zers and 53% of millennials use credit cards for living expenses. Conversely, only 26% of boomers rely on credit cards to cover essential expenses.

See: 10 Things to Do Now If You Have a 500 Credit Score

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45% of Americans Have Taken on More Credit Card Debt During the Pandemic

Since March 2020, nearly half of all Americans have taken on more credit card debt, the survey found. Individuals who carry a credit card balance from month to month are more than twice as likely to report having more debt now than before the pandemic.

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Most Americans Have Missed at Least One Credit Card Payment

According to the survey, 57% of Americans have missed at least one credit card payment. The most common reason for missing a payment was simply forgetting (37%), but the next most common reason was paying for food and groceries (32%).

Find Out: 10 Signs That It’s Time To Ditch Your Credit Card

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43% of Americans Would Use Credit Cards To Cover a $2,000 Emergency

Thirteen percent of Americans have no emergency savings and 37% currently have less than $1,000 in emergency savings, so it’s not super surprising that nearly half of Americans said they would rely on a credit card to cover a $2,000 emergency.

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