Credit-card debt is on the rise as more Americans are racking up hefty bills at levels not seen since before the Great Recession. As of 2016, the average credit card debt in America is $16,061, which is up 10 percent from a decade ago. The average credit-card debt in the U.S. before the Great Recession was $14,546, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, credit-card debt is down from the 2008 levels, which was the peak of the recession.
Many economists and financial experts believe the trend will continue in the years to come. Mortgage debt and student loans will play a significant role in the debt burden of most Americans. In 2016, mortgage debt in America averaged $172,806, and auto loans stood at $28,535. The total household debt for all Americans in 2016 averaged a whopping $12.4 trillion. By way of comparison, the average total household debt averaged $11.7 trillion in 2010.
Some analysts speculate the root of the problem is expenses continue to outpace the median household income in the U.S. Although median incomes are up 28 percent in the last 13 years, expenses are up dramatically, including medical costs and food and beverage costs. The cost of food and beverages are up 36 percent in the last 13 years while medical costs rose 57 percent during the same period.