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Americans are carrying a lot of debt: Here's how much at each age

The vast majority of Americans are carrying a large amount of debt. Even though they're trying their best to get out of it, they can't seem to shoulder the burden of becoming debt free. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but the average American is not debt free, so if you're currently struggling with a serious debt situation, you're not alone.

The question is: How much debt are American's carrying? And, does this amount of debt change on the basis of age? Keep reading to learn how much each age category in the United States owes to banks, mortgage lenders, auto loan providers, credit card lenders, student loan providers and more.

Debt levels for Americans on average

When looking at all age demographics combined into one, the average American is carrying a whopping $38,000 in debt in 2018, which is an increase of $1,000 from 2017. It's difficult to imagine -- when one considers that most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck -- that the average United States citizen is holding this much debt, but it's true.

Now, let's see how these debt levels change according to age categories.

Debt levels for Americans aged 18 and 24

Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 are carrying approximately $22,000 worth of debt. This is made up of mostly of credit cards. However, adults in this age category may have large student loan debts that they're carrying as well.

Debt levels for Americans aged 25 and 34

Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are carrying approximately $42,000 worth of debt. The leading source of this debt is credit cards, but many Americans in this age range also have home mortgages and student loans. Auto loans are also likely.

Debt levels for Americans aged between 35 and 49

Americans who fall within the age range of 35 and 49 are carrying most of their debt in the form of a large home mortgage. Second for this age category is credit card debt. It's also common for this age range to have car loans and educational debt. This age category is carrying an average of $39,000 of debt.

Debt levels for Americans who are 50 years of age and older

Americans who are 50 years of age and older are carrying less debt than many of their younger counterparts with an average of $36,000. Most of them hold this debt in the forms of mortgage debt, credit card debt and car loans.

How does your debt situation compare?

Ultimately, in terms of whether you're in serious debt trouble, it doesn't matter so much how you compare to this list. What matters is how much money you're earning and whether you can comfortably afford to pay off your loans with your current income. If you're struggling under a mountain of debt that you'll never pay off, you might want to consider whether bankruptcy proceedings are right for you and your family.

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Peter R. Scribner, Esq.
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