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More than 165 million consumers in the US alone have a credit card account. The total credit card debt reached nearly $1 trillion in early 2023, an all-time high. The average credit card interest rate also reached an all-time high of 20.09%[1].

We’ve compiled the latest stats on credit card debt from government and consumer credit reporting agencies to help you better understand the current state of the credit lending industry and its customers.

Key Findings

  • Americans owe a total of $975.59 billion in credit card debt.
  • The total number of active credit cards reached 532.2 million in Q1 2023.
  • The average American has $5,733 in credit card debt.
  • Iowans have the lowest average credit card balance of $4,808 while Alaskans have the highest – $7,338.
  • 82.1 million new credit cards were issued in 2022 – an-all time high.
  • The credit card delinquency rate (90+ days) reached 2.26% in Q1 2023.

US Credit Card Debt by Year

Credit card debt in the US reached $975.59 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 15.19% year-over-year increase[2].

Pre-pandemic (Q4 2019), Americans owed $845.36 billion in credit card debt.

How Much Credit Card Debt Does the Average American Have?

The average credit card debt per consumer in the US was $5,733 in Q1 2023, 1.24% down from the previous quarter (Q4 2022)[3].

Experian data suggests a slightly higher average credit balance among consumers in the US – $5,910 (in Q3 2022) and $5,221 (in Q3 2021)[4].

Average Credit Card Debt by State

Iowa had the lowest average credit card balance of $4,808 in Q3 2022, while average credit card balances reached $7,338 in Alaska. All states reported a year-over-year increase in average credit card balances[4]

YoY change in credit card debt by state
StateQ3 2022Q3 2021
Connecticut $6,825$6,052
Illinois $6,011$5,315
Indiana $5,017$4,528
Kentucky $4,894$4,408
Mississippi $4,912$4,449
New Hampshire$5,944$5,251
New Jersey$6,819$5,995
New Mexico$5,350$4,821
New York$6,269$5,473
North Carolina $5,658$5,101
North Dakota$5,408$4,874
Rhode Island$5,867$5,153
South Carolina $5,714$5,176
South Dakota$5,071$4,591
Washington $6,043$5,231
Washington, D.C.$6,904$5,949
West Virginia$5,005$4,574
Wisconsin $4,808$4,329

Average Credit Card Debt by Age

Borrowers who are 42-57 years old (Generation X) had the highest average credit card debt: $8,134 (in Q3 2022, 15% up compared to Q3 2021)[4].  

Despite Generation Z typically owing less per borrower ($2,854), younger people under 25 years old saw the biggest year-over-year increase in average credit card debt (+25.1%) than any other age group.

YoY change in credit card debt by age
Generation (age group)Q3 2022 (YoY change)Q3 2021
Generation Z (18-25 years old)$2,854 (+25.1%)$2,282
Millennials (26-41 years old)$5,649 (+23.5%)$4,576
Generation X (42-57 years old)$8,134 (+15%) $7,070
Baby Boomers (58-76 years old)$6,245 (+7.6%) $5,804
Silent Generation (77 years old and over)$3,316  (+4.4%) $3,177

Average Credit Utilization

The average credit utilization rate in the US reached 21.5% in the first quarter of 2023, 1.5% up compared to the same quarter in 2022[5].

Credit Card Originations

Credit card originations (new cards issued) in the US reached 82.1 million (an-all time high) in 2022, showing an 11.7% increase over the past year[6]

In 2023, there were reported 6.2 million credit card originations from January to March (7.3% year-over-year growth). 

Credit Card Originations by Credit Score

According to an analysis of credit card originations in the US, the percentage of subprime consumers (with credit scores between 300 and 600) in the total number of credit originations has declined from 22.8% in Q4 2021 to 19.3% in Q4 2022 as lenders minimize risk exposure[5]

Prime consumers (661-720) held the largest share (22.3%) as of Q4 2022 compared to other risk tiers.

Credit Card Balances by Generation

Generation X owes the largest share of credit card balances (33.9%), followed by Millennials (28.6%) and Baby Boomers (27.9%)[5].

Credit Card Delinquency Rates

The delinquency rate (30+ days past due) on credit card balances in the US reached 4.17% in the first quarter of 2023, a 0.88 percentage point increase since Q1 2022. That is almost double the 10-year average of 2.28%[5].

Serious credit card delinquencies (90+ days past due) rose to 2.26% in Q1 2023 from 1.61% in Q1 2022.

Historical Credit Card Interest Rates

The average interest rate on credit cards reached 20.09% in February 2023, a record high. Rising rates and rising balances indicate additional stress for consumers and windfall profits for card issuers[7].