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Some Interesting Facts About Credit Card Debt In The United States.

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This month’s Mother Jones magazine has some…um…interesting facts about credit card and debt here in the United States. We all know that debt is piling up faster and faster in our society, but did you know that:

In 1970 only 51% of people had credit cards and today 93% do…and they hold an average of 7 cards apiece.

The average U.S. household owes $9,659 on their cards.

Americans charged $51 billion worth of fast food last year, a 29-fold increase since 2001.

1/3 of low and middle income families go into credit card debt to pay for rent, utilities and food.

Nearly 1/3 of people filing for bankruptcy owe an entire year’s salary on their credit cards.

I sure didn’t….


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Comments (12)

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  1. Lazy Man says:

    That average is drawn up by a small majority. I know some PF bloggers that have 100K in credit card debt. Most of that is at 0% earning interest in a bank and can be paid back at some time.

    The fast food increase is due to the fact that many more places make it easier now.

  2. David says:

    The fast food increase is mostly from the fact that that is all anyone eats now…thus the giant (no pun intended) increase in obesity rates.

  3. Brip Blap says:

    I can’t imagine how desperate (or how poorly educated about finances) someone has to be to go into credit card debt to pay for food, rent, etc. As Lazy Man said, the average might be drawn up by people like me, too, since I charge every single last expense that I can on my credit card…and pay it back at the end of the month in full.

    “…um….interesting” was right. Disturbing is more like it.

  4. These are truly worrying statistics. If it’s any comfort, things are just as bleak in the UK. Repossessions and bankruptcies are on the increase and total personal debt is now over £1.325 trillion – an unimaginable sum. One in five retired people still has a mortgage, and a record number of people of all ages are struggling to pay their debts. Yet credit card and loan firms keep offering them credit. It makes you despair.

  5. 7 cards! Yowza! I have 2 and only for credit building purposes 😮

  6. Pat Veretto says:

    “Americans charged $51 billion worth of fast food last year”

    That’s amazing. My daughter worked (several years ago) at McDonald’s. I remember when the first credit cards were swiped there… we were amazed that people would buy fast food on credit. I am still amazed.

  7. Brip Blap says:

    @Pat: In all fairness, as I mentioned I charge EVERYTHING on my credit card. If I went to McDonalds (I don’t because of Super Size Me) I would probably charge it on my Amex to get my points. But you’re right, some of those people are probably paying 19% on a Big Mac, which is nauseating, just like…a Big Mac.

  8. Moneymonk says:

    Wow! I guess I’m a part of the 7% I do not have a credit card!

  9. […] Some Interesting Facts About Credit Card Debt In The United States. This month’s Mother Jones magazine has some…um…interesting facts about credit card and debt here in the United States. We all know that debt is piling up faster and faster in our society, but did you know that: In 1970 only 51% of people had credit cards and today 93% do…and…… […]

  10. […] Some Interesting Facts About Credit Card Debt In The United States. This month’s Mother Jones magazine has some…um…interesting facts about credit card and debt here in the United States. We all know that debt is piling up faster and faster in our society, but did you know that: In 1970 only 51% of people had credit cards and today 93% do…and…… Online Stores […]

  11. […] Some Interesting Facts About Credit Card Debt In The United States. This month’s Mother Jones magazine has some…um…interesting facts about credit card and debt here in the United States. We all know that debt is piling up faster and faster in our society, but did you know that: In 1970 only 51% of people had credit cards and today 93% do…and…… […]

  12. […] do I believe this?  Well, just look at credit card debt in the United States back in 2007, before the recession started.  We owed on average almost $10,000 per household on […]

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