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Consumer Debt Statistics

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Consumer Debt Statistics

Consumer debt statistics don’t lie. After all, it’s just math right? However, debt is a huge and growing problem in today’s society in both the United States and in Canada.

Actually, it is a hole that most of us have dug for ourselves in almost any English speaking country. If you’re seriously straining yourself with trying to pay off your debt, the bottom line is – you are certainly not alone. For starters, let’s explore some consumer debt statistics for the United States.

A staggering 1 in 177 homes in the U.S. has received at least one foreclosure notice. A whopping 43% of American households live from paycheck-to-paycheck, and not surprisingly, they have less than $1,000 in assets. Senior citizens who used to be associated with saving and putting off what they didn’t need till a later day, have buckled hard under the weight of debt. It’s no fun working your whole life only to end up between a rock and a hard place. Between the years of 1992 and 2001, the average senior’s credit card balance rose a staggering 89%! Why is this? And who wants to be associated with that statistic anyways?

Only 3% of seniors are totally debt free and fully financially independent. Because of this, some seniors have to work well beyond their retirement years while others have to rely on friends and/or family for financial support.

The average credit card balance in households in the United States today is just under $10,000. If we link this back into the 43% living paycheck-to-paycheck, how is anybody supposed to get on top?

Next, let’s take a look at some consumer debt statistics for Canada. Nowadays, many Canadians are using their credit cards to cover their day-to-day household expenses. This has unfortunately made their national household debt a record breaking (for Canada anyways) $1.3 trillion. Thirty million people with all that debt…talk about spinning your wheels.

If we break this figure down, $900 billion of this comes from mortgages, while the other $400 billion comes from general consumer debt.

While there are some Canadians who are managing to save more, there are oodles more that are going deeper and deeper in debt every single day. Over the last decade, the household debt there has increased 5.5% annually. Way, way more than inflation, and I bet you more than the last raise you got at work too, that is, IF you got one.

The rising consumer debt statistics in Canada are said to be because of wage freezes, layoffs and a worsening recession. It’s been said that 85% of Canadian households still owe on one or more credit cards. Are you one of them?

What’s particularly worrisome is that 21% of Canadians say that they feel that their amount of debt is no longer manageable. One in ten Canadians polled say that they would not be able to handle it financially if an expense of $500.00 suddenly came up. A measley 500 bucks!


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