Credit card debt nationwide is on the rise overall, but the average debt is declining. More people in California and across the U.S. are carrying credit card balances. According to data gathered by the Federal Reserve, 38.1 percent of Americans had balances on their credit cards in 2013; that number rose to 43.9 percent by 2016.
The two groups of people who carry the largest credit card balances, according to ValuePenguin, are the wealthiest and the poorest Americans. The average outstanding credit card debt for households that had negative or zero net worth was $10,307. It makes sense because the people are likely forced to rely on the credit cards to pay their bills or cover expenses at times.The wealthiest households, too, tended to carry larger credit card balances. Those whose net worth was at least $500,000 carried an average debt on their credit cards of $8,139, the second-highest of the groups studied.
The Federal Reserve estimated in 2016 that the average credit card debt for a household was $5,700. That number includes cardholders and households that don’t carry credit card balances, so the average debt for those who carry balances must in reality be higher. ValuePenguin used data from the Federal Reserve and estimated that average credit card debt for only households that carry balances is $9,333.
People in California who have more in expenses and debt service payments than they are earning might want to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in bankruptcy law might be able to help by examining the client’s situation and suggesting options to reduce or eliminate debt. Credit card debts may in some cases be negotiated down, or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can discharge credit card and other debts.