American credit card debt 2020

2023 American Household Credit Card Debt Report

  • March 16, 2023
  • 17 min read
  • Read Icon3758 reads

Household debt is continuing to grow in America in 2023, with credit cards historically being one of the most notoriously difficult and costly to pay off.

During the pandemic, credit card debt saw a 13% decrease, more than any other debt category. Now, in the post-pandemic era, all forms of debt are trending up, as seen in the Debt Balance Quarterly Change chart below.

Debt Balance Quarterly Change

Particularly, credit card debt in Q4 2022 increased by 15.1% compared to a year ago.

This report presents 17 unique interactive charts and tables to reveal the most recent trends in household and credit card debt based on primary data provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. All secondary data, charts, and analyses are provided by

Each chart is interactive, allowing you to see its relative numbers/percentages by hovering over each detail.

Key 2023 US Household Debt Statistics

  • US household debt reached a total of 16.9 Trillion for the first time in history 1
  • In total, the household debt balance increased by 8.47%, year-over-year
  • The per capita debt balance for all states increased by 7.3%, from $55,810 to $59,890
  • 32.54 M debt account numbers were added to the economy since 2021, a 4.4% increase
  • The most indebted age group was 40-49-year-olds, with $4.30 Trillion in debt

2023 US Credit Card Debt Statistics

  • Credit card debt reached $1.55 T in Q4 2022, up 6.16% compared to Q4 2021
  • Credit card debt now comprises 5.9% of all household debt
  • Credit card credit increased by 8.1%, but credit card balance increased by 15.1%
  • Credit card limits are at $4.39 T, their highest level ever.
  • 33 million new credit card accounts were created in 2022, up by 6.2%
  • Credit card delinquency rates increased by 53% for ages 18-29
  • Transition to serious credit card delinquency increased by 24.5% for all age groups

2023 US Student Loan Statistics

  • Student loans debt reached $1.55 T in Q4 2022, up 6.16% compared to Q4 2021, the lowest increase compared to other household debt
  • Student loans debt now comprises 9.5% of all household debt
  • The allocation of student debt to the age group 18-29 is 27.8%, while in 2020, it was 35.3%
  • Student loan delinquent loans fell to 0.87% in 2022, down by 83% compared to 2021

2023 US Mortgage Debt Statistics

  • Mortgage debt reached $1.55 T in Q4 2022, up 6.16% compared to Q4 2021
  • Mortgage debt now comprises 70.5% of all household debt
  • Mortgage debt account numbers increased by 3.04% in 2022 to 83.4 M
  • Mortgage debt had a delinquency rate of 0.43% in 22:Q4, the lowest of any other debt type
  • Mortgage debt delinquency rates were down by 7% in 2022.

2023 US Auto Loan Debt Statistics

  • Auto loan debt reached $1.55 T in Q4 2022, up 6.16% compared to Q4 2021
  • Auto loans debt now comprises 9.17% of all household debt
  • Auto loan account numbers decreased by 2.93% in 2022 to 107.77 M
  • Auto loan delinquency rates were 3.73% in 2022, down by 6% compared to 2021

2023 US Personal & Payday Loans Debt Statistics

  • Personal & Payday loans debt reached $1.55 T in Q4 2022, up 6.16% compared to Q4 2021
  • Personal loans debt now comprises 3% of all household debt
  • Personal loan delinquency rates were 7.18% in 2022, up by 2% compared to 2021
  • The personal loan average delinquency rate has been 7.4% since 2019 and has been the least volatile loan type

2023 Household Debt Interactive Charts

In this US debt statistics report provided by, you will find interactive charts analyzing various aspects of household debt in the US, with a primary focus on credit card debt. All primary data were directly sourced from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Historic Debt Cycles

This chart describes the evolution of household debt cycles from 2003 until Q4 2022. A clear upward trend of all forms of debt was evident from the beginning of the decade until the 2008 financial crisis.

This debt deleveraging phase lasted until 2013, when a new debt growth cycle was initiated that is going on until today.

Even though the debt cycle was slightly halted during 2020, it has been accelerating at an exponential pace since 2021. in fact, US household debt reached a total of 16.9 Trillion for the first time in history in Q4, 2022.

Debt Balance, 21:Q4 – 22:Q4

Compared to a year ago, the credit card debt balance increased from $0.86T to $ 0.99 T.

In the same period, HE revolving debt increased from $0.32 T to $ 0.34 T, auto loans increased from $1.46 T to $ 1.55 T, student loans increased from $1.58 T to $1.60 T, and mortgage debt increased from $10.93 T to $11.92 T.

Debt Category21:Q4 ($T)22:Q4 ($T)Change ($T) Change (%)
Credit Card0.860.990.1315.12%
HE Revolving0.320.340.026.25%
Other Debt*0.440.510.0715.91%
Auto Loan1.461.550.096.16%
Student Loan1.581.600.021.27%
*primarily comprised of personal loans, payday loans, and other less common debt types.

Mortgage debt alone was increased by $0.99 T in 2022, more than three times the increase of all other types of debt combined.

In absolute terms, the least increase in debt was among HE Revolving and student loans.

The total household debt increased by $1.32 T in 2022, from $15.59 T to $ 16.91 T. This annual increase of 8.47% is one of the highest in history.

Debt Balance Percentile Change, 21:Q4 – 22:Q4

In this chart, the exponential growth of household debt in 2022 is more obvious.

Credit card debt increased a staggering 15.12%, rivaled only by what is classified as “Other Debt,” which rose by 15.91%.

“Other Debt” is what the FED defines as a broader category of personal loans, payday loans, and other less common debt types.

Mortgage debt comes third, with a 9.06% increase, which has a higher impact on the total as its weight is much higher.

HE revolving rose by 6.25%, auto loans by 6.16 and student loans by a mere 1.27%.

Debt Balance Pie, 22:Q4

The relevant proportions of household debt in Q4 2022 are easily visualized in this pie chart.

Mortgage debt accounts for 70.5% of total household debt. Student loans account for 9.5%, auto loans for 9.2%, credit cards for 5.9%, HE revolving for 2%, and all other debt types for 3%.

Total Debt Balance per Capita by State

All states increased their debt balance per capita in 2022, with California being at the top for one more year. In Q4 2022, the average Californian had a debt balance of $78,530, and a year later of $84,850.

Per capita debt balance for all states increased by 7.3%, from $55,810 to $59,890, which is again the highest in US history.

Number of Loan Accounts

The drastic increase in household debt, and particularly in credit card debt, is also evident in the increase in loan accounts in 2022.

33 million new credit card accounts were created in 2022, now reaching 564 million. That means that there are now 1.7 credit card accounts for each American citizen.

The only debt accounts that decreased in 2022 were auto loans, which fell from 111 M to 107.7 M.

Percentile Change of Loan Accounts 21:Q4 – 22:Q4

Auto loan accounts hence fell by almost 3%, whereas credit card accounts have risen by 6.2%

Mortgage and HE revolving debt accounts roughly increased by 3% each.

Historic Number of Loan Accounts

Observing the historic trends of loan account numbers reveals the volatility of credit card accounts during periods of financial tightening (as in the 2008 financial crises) and monetary expansion (since 2013).

Credit card accounts grew by 47% compared to a decade ago.

Car loan accounts also drastically increased by almost 30% in the same period.

On the contrary, mortgage and HE revolving debt account numbers have remained roughly stable.

Historic Credit Card Limit and Balance

Watching the 20-year historic chart of the credit card balance, limit, and available credit is that during periods of financial tightening, there’s a much bigger drop in credit card limits as opposed to credit card spending. That is a reasonable case since consumer spending habits are more rigid to change.

What is more interesting, though, is that since 2013 credit card limits have been growing much faster than the credit card balance. This is an indicator of how banks loosened their credit policies more than what consumer spending warranted.

As of the latest readings, credit card limits are at the highest level ever, at $4.39 T, while credit card balances also reached a historic high of $0.99 T.

Percentile Change of Credit Card Limit and Balance

During 2022, credit card spending (credit card balance) has increased by 15.12%, almost double the pace of the increase in credit card limits at 8.13%.

This decrease in the credit card balance-to-limit ratio is a historic counter-trend and an indicator that even though banks have been late to tighten their credit standards they are finally doing so. This shift in policy should drive credit card balance in the years to follow.

Debt Share by Product Type and Age

2022 Q4

in Q4, 2022, the most indebted age group was 40-49-year-olds, exceeding for the first time the $4 Trillion mark.

The 18-29 age group had a total of $1.26 T in debt, the 30-39 age group $3.82 T in debt, the 40-49 age group a $4.3T in debt, the 50-59 age group a $3.71 T in debt, the 60-69 age group a $2.43 T and the $70+ age group a $1.39 T in debt.

Proportionate Debt Share by Product Type and Age

2022 Q4

Despite the drastic reduction in student debt due to debt relief policies, it still occupies 27.8% of the total debt of the age group 18-29. The same age group holds proportionally a high level of credit card debt at 6.3% and the highest level of auto loan debt than all other age groups at 16.7%.

Older age groups have an increasingly higher proportion of mortgage and HELOC debt.

Percent of Balance 90+ Days Delinquent

There is a clear downward trend of 90+ days of delinquent student loans, which was 10.85% in Q1 2019 and a mere 0.87% in Q4 2022.

All other forms of debt have remained roughly in the same delinquency rates over the last 4 years.

Credit card debt now has the highest delinquency rates of all debt types, reaching 7.67% in Q4 2022.

Serious Delinquency Rate for Credit Cards by Age

This 4-year chart breaks down serious delinquency rates for credit card debt by age group.

The most volatile group is the 18-29-year-olds, which had their lowest delinquency rate at 4.85% in Q2, 2021, and is now at 7.6%, higher than any other age group.

The group with the lowest delinquency rate is 60-69-year-olds.

Percentile Change of Serious Delinquency Rate for Credit Cards by Age

In 2022, total serious delinquency rates rose by an unprecedented 24.5%.

In Q4 2022, 18-29-year-olds had a 53.23% increase in delinquency compared to a year ago.

Age groups 30-39 and 70+ were also severely affected, with 39.46% and 39.06% increases, respectively.


2022 US household debt data have shown alarming indicators for the state of the financial economy of 2023.

US households have reached peak levels of total debt while delinquency rates are rising for all age groups.

Credit card debt saw the largest percentile increase and volatility in 2022, reaching historic heights.

Those drastic changes are precursors of a severe debt crisis that may lead to an economic depression in late 2023.


Graphs, tables, secondary data, and analysis:

Primary data: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

If you want to share this report, please don’t forget to give credit to both sources.

What do you think about the latest trends in household debt? How do you see the debt situation evolving in 2023? Add your comments below!

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AuthorGeorge Chrysochou

George is the Global Marketing Manager at He has Bachelor degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship. He is the founder of start-ups in the fields of Marketing, E-commerce, AI, Online Advertising and more.

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Eric Smitt
I'm really surprised to see those trends in 2020. I wonder what will happen in 2021 when the stock markets will crush as the real economy did this year
These are some nice insights, thank you. Quite impressive the drop during Q2 :O
Antreas Ko
Really useful data there. Can I use them as a reference in my article about the current state of US debt?
    George ChrysochouAuthor
    Sure! Please don't forget to add both and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in your references
    Antreas Ko

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