American credit card debt 2020

2023 Consumer & Credit Card Debt Statistics – Interactive Report

  • October 3, 2023
  • 19 min read
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Consumer debt continues to grow in America in 2023, with credit cards historically being one of the most notoriously difficult and costly to pay off.

During the onset of the pandemic, credit card debt had a 13% YoY decrease, more than any other debt category. Now, in the post-pandemic era, all forms of debt were trending up, only to experience a sudden quarterly drop in Q1 2023 as seen in the Debt Balance Quarterly Change chart below. Q2 2023 will be a critical point to determine if debt will finally start trending downwards, or if there will be a bounce and a continuation to the debt cycle.

Debt Balance Quarterly Change

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

Each chart is interactive, allowing you to see the data for each period by hovering over the chart axis.

Key 2023 US Consumer Debt Statistics

  • US household debt reached a total of 17.05 Trillion for the first time in history 1
  • In total, the household debt balance increased by 7.62%, year-over-year 2
  • The per capita debt balance increased from $56,650 to $60,250 3
  • 36.63 M loan accounts were added to the economy since 2022, a 4.94% increase 4
  • The most indebted age group was 40-49-year-olds, with $4.39 Trillion in debt5

2023 US Credit Card Debt Statistics

  • Credit card debt reached $0.99 T in Q1 2023, up 17.38% compared to Q1 2022 2
  • Credit card debt now comprises 5.3% of all household debt 6
  • Credit card credit increased by 7.32%, and credit card balance (spending) increased by 17.86% 8
  • Credit card limits are at $4.51 T, their highest level ever 8
  • 35.76 million new credit card accounts were created between 2022 and 2023, a 6.7% increase 10
  • Credit card delinquency rates increased by 62.3% for ages 18-29 11
  • Transition to serious credit card delinquency increased by 50.3% for all age groups 9

2023 US Student Loan Debt Statistics

  • Student loan debt reached $1.6 T in Q1 2023, up a mere 0.88% YoY, the lowest increase among all other household debt categories 7
  • Student loan debt now comprises 9.41% of all household debt 6
  • The allocation of student debt to the age group 18-29 is 29.6%, while in 2020, it was 35.3% 12
  • Student loan delinquent loans fell to only 0.67% in 2023, down by 86% compared to 2022 13

2023 US Mortgage Debt Statistics

  • Mortgage debt reached $12.04 T in Q1 2023, up 7.7% YoY 7
  • Mortgage debt now comprises 70.65% of all household debt 6
  • Mortgage debt account numbers increased by 3.05% in 2023 to 84 M 4
  • Mortgage debt had a delinquency rate of 0.44% in 2023, the lowest of any other debt type 13
  • Mortgage debt delinquency rates were down by 6% YoY in Q1 2023 13

2023 US Auto Loan Debt Statistics

  • Auto loan debt reached $1.56 T in Q1 2023, up 6.26% YoY 7
  • Auto loan debt now comprises 9.16% of all household debt 6
  • There are 2 M fewer auto loan accounts in 2023 compared to 2022 4
  • Auto loan delinquency rates were 3.89% in 2023, down by 3% compared to 202213

2023 US Personal & Payday Loans Debt Statistics

  • Personal and payday loan debt reached $0.51 T in Q1 2023, up 13.78% YoY 7
  • Personal loan debt now comprises 3% of all household debt 6
  • Personal loan delinquency rates were 7.67% in 2023, up by 8% compared to 202214
  • The personal loan average delinquency rate has been ranging from 7% to 8% since 2019 and has been the least volatile loan category 14

2023 Household Debt Interactive Charts

In this US debt statistics report, 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 Q1 2023. 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 17.05 Trillion for the first time in history in Q1, 2023.

Debt Balance, 22:Q1 – 23:Q1

Compared to a year ago, the credit card debt balance increased from $0.84T to $ 0.99 T.

In the same period, HE revolving debt increased from $0.32 T to $0.34 T, auto loans increased from $1.47 T to $ 1.56 T, student loans increased from $1.59 T to $1.60 T, and mortgage debt increased from $11.18 T to $12.04 T.

Debt Category22:Q1 ($T)23:Q1 ($T)Change ($T) Change (%)
Credit Card0.840.990.1517.38%
HE Revolving0.320.340.025.94%
Other Debt*0.450.510.0613.78%
Auto Loan1.471.560.096.26%
Student Loan1.591.600.010.88%
*primarily comprised of personal loans, payday loans, and other less common debt types.

Mortgage debt alone was increased by $0.86 T YoY in Q1 2023, more than two times that of all other types of debt combined.

In absolute terms, the least increase in debt was reported in student loans and HE revolving debt.

Total household debt increased by $1.20 T in 2023, from $15.85 T to $ 17.05 T. This annual increase of 7.55% is among the highest in history.

Debt Balance Percentile Change, 22:Q1 – 23:Q1

In this chart, the exponential growth of household debt in 2023 is more obvious.

Credit card debt increased a staggering 17.38%, rivaled only by “Other Debt” which rose by 13.78%.

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

Mortgage debt comes third, with a 7.73% increase, which has a higher impact on the total as its weight is much higher than other debt categories.

HE revolving debt rose by 5.94%, auto loans by 6.26% and student loans by a mere 0.88%.

Debt Balance Pie, 23:Q1

The relevant proportions of household debt in Q1 2023 are easily visualized in this pie chart.

Mortgage debt accounts for 72.5% of total household debt. Student loans account for 1.2%, auto loans for 7.7%, credit cards for 11.2%, HE revolving for 1.6%, and all other debt types for 5.2%.

Total Debt Balance per Capita by State

All states increased their debt balance per capita in 2023, with California being at the top for one more year. In Q1 2022, the average Californian had a debt balance of $79,940 and a year later, $85,090.

Per capita debt balance for all states increased by 6.35%, from $56,650 to $60,250 which is the highest debt per capita 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 within the last 12 months.

35.76 million new credit card accounts were created in between 2022 and 2023, now reaching a total of 572 million. That means there are now approximately 1.7 credit card accounts for each American citizen.

The only debt accounts numbers that decreased in 2023 were auto loans, which fell from 109.68 M to 107.59 M, signaling the rapid decline in the demand for used and new cars.

Percentile Change of Loan Accounts 22:Q1 – 23:Q1

Auto loan accounts hence fell by almost 2%, whereas credit card accounts have risen by 6.7%

Mortgage and HE revolving debt accounts increased by 3.05% and 3.7% respectively.

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 crisis) and monetary expansion (as evident since 2013).

Credit card accounts grew roughly by 50% 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

The 20-year historic chart of the credit card balance, limit, and available credit reveals 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 predictable case since consumers‘ spending habits are typically more rigid to change than lending standards due to fiscal policies.

More surprisingly, 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 $4.51 T, while credit card balances also reached a historic high of $0.99 T.

Percentile Change of Credit Card Limit and Balance

On Q1 2023, credit card spending (credit card balance) has increased by 17.86% YoY, almost double the pace of the increase in credit card limits at 9.47%.

This decrease in the credit card balance-to-limit ratio is a historic counter-trend and an indicator that banks have been urgently tightening their credit standards amidst increasing consumer spending. This shift in policy should shrink credit card balances in the years to follow.

Debt Share by Product Type and Age

2023 Q1

in Q1, 2023, the most indebted age group was 40-49-year-olds, exceeding for the first time the $4.3 Trillion mark.

The 18-29 age group had a total of $1.08 T in debt, the 30-39 age group $3.69 T in debt, the 40-49 age group a $4.39T in debt, the 50-59 age group a $3.81 T in debt, the 60-69 age group a $2.55 T and the $70+ age group a $1.52 T in debt.

Proportionate Debt Share by Product Type and Age

2023 Q1

Despite the drastic reduction in student debt due to debt relief policies, it still occupies 29.6% of the total debt of the age group 18-29. The same age group holds proportionally a high level of credit card debt at 6.5% and the highest level of auto loan debt than all other age groups at 17.6%.

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

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 8.3%, higher than any other age group.

The group with the lowest delinquency rate is 60-69-year-olds, which however also had a drastic YoY increase of 32%.

Percentile Change of Serious Delinquency Rate for Credit Cards by Age

In Q1 2023, all age groups experienced a critical 50.3% YoY increase in their transition to serious delinquency.

18-29-year-olds were the most problematic group with an increase in serious delinquency of 62.3% compared to a year ago.

All age groups were severely affected by this trend, even though the age groups of 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+ have yet to reach the serious delinquency rates highs they faced in Q1 2020.


2023 US consumer debt statistics have shown alarming indicators for the state of the economy in the years to come.

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

Credit card debt statistics reveal historically high percentile increases in serious delinquency rates and debt volatility in 2023.

Those rapid changes are precursors of a looming debt crisis that may lead to an economic depression starting in late 2023 if no drastic monetary policy action is taken.


Graphs, tables, secondary data, and analysis:

Primary data: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

If you want to share this report, please remember 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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George (he/they) is the CMO, Chief Economist and AI Strategist at He has a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Administration. He founded start-ups in AI, Data Analytics, Content Writing, and more.

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