One thing that is interesting about debt in the United States is that people often carry debt without really realizing it. For instance, every homeowner who has a mortgage is technically in debt, though most of them consider themselves homeowners. The reality is that the bank owns the house, and they have to pay off what they owe or the bank can simply take the property and sell it to someone else.
To look at just how much debt is out there, consider this: The average debt that every person in America has is over $90,000. The total consumer debt in this country is about $14.1 trillion.
So, if you have a car loan for $30,000, it may be the most singular debt that you have ever taken on at one time, but the reality is that you’re actually well below the average. You’re bringing it down. For every person in your situation, there are others with well over $90,000 in debt who bring it back up again.
Age plays a heavy role in the amount of debt people carry. For instance, Millennials (those from 24 years of age to 39 years of age) have an average debt load that is about $78,000. While this is below the average, there’s a sharp rise from prior generations where people often owed less than $10,000. That shows the impact of student loans, homes, more expensive cars, etc. on the Millennial generation. Generation X has the most debt. This is the age group from 40 to 55 years of age. Their average debt load is over $135,000. After that, things tend to drop slightly.
No matter which age group you’re in, an unreasonable amount of debt can make it impossible for you to get ahead. If you find yourself struggling with outstanding debt, make sure you know what options you have. It may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy relief.