How Much Debt Does the Average American Have?

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On average, Americans have more than $15,000 in debt, and that is just credit cards according to That doesn't include mortgages or car loans, which significantly increase that number.

More than 160 million Americans have credit cards, and the average American has three credit cards. If you factor in credit card debt, mortgages, student loans and auto loans the total U.S. consumer debt totals more than $11.4 trillion. However, it's important to keep in mind that not all debt is bad. Debt allows people to buy homes and send their kids to college. Bad debt occurs when credit cards are used to buy wants rather than needs, and there are not enough funds to pay down the credit cards.