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Our Country is in Love With Debt

By Erik Folgate

  • BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year. Now that is scary.
  • The total consumer debt is at 1.7 trillion dollars. (You can visualize a trillion dollars as a stack of $1000 bills placed one on top of the other, flat side on top of flat side, reaching 67 miles high.)
  • The personal credit card debt carried by the average American is $8,562 and the total interest paid in 2001 was $50 billion…. an average of $1000 in interest per consumer. The average consumer caries 8 cards and 20% of cards are maxed out.
  • There were 1.3 credit card holders declaring bankruptcy last year. Bankruptcies have exceeded 1 million per year every year for at least 7 years now.


Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.irateinvestor.com Phil

    Scary stats, but probably the wrong ones. Between someone with $100K in credit card debt and myself, we have an average of $50K. I have none. The important number is median debt and median interest paid.

    The other important statistic is why– is it because they incurred huge healthcare bills, or because they can’t get enough plasma TVs?

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