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Which groups of Americans have the most debt?

Households in California with high credit card debt are part of a trend across the country. Many Americans are charging their way to high debt, and carrying balances from month to month. Statistics show an average individual credit card debt of more than $5,000 in 2019. Paying the bill in full each month eliminates interest charges, but less than half of the country's credit card users are doing that routinely.

Statistics on credit card use by age and income level generally show that people with more income have higher credit card debt. People age 35 and under and those who are at or over the age of 75 have the lowest average credit card debt. People generally earn the most money in middle age, and the highest average credit card debt is in the 45 to 54 age bracket.

Wealthier people have higher credit card debt than people who make less money, but the ratio of credit card debt to income is better for the wealthy. People who make less than $25,000 a year have a poor credit card debt-to-income ratio, which suggests that they may have difficulty managing their credit card usage and payments.

The average credit card holder has three cards, with 83 percent of Americans holding at least one. Only 45 percent pay off their balances in full every month. Experts suggest that people who cannot afford to pay in full each month should at least aim for paying more than the minimum payment. It is also important to pay on time to avoid late fees and interest rate increases.

There are many ways to manage credit card debt, but when it becomes overwhelming, filing for bankruptcy could be the best option. Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. Someone who does not could opt for Chapter 13. This is generally for people who have steady income and can pay off some of their debt under an affordable monthly payment plan.

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