Finds Consumer 2011 Debt Remains High at $15,200

America's Debt Report Uncovers Student Loans As Second Most Frequent Type Of Debt; Telephone Bills Are Most Likely To Enter Collections


Michael Azzano
Cosmo PR
(415) 596-1978

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Jan. 10, 2012 — Consumer money resource today released its 2011 America’s “Debt Report.” Despite lower unemployment rates and strengthening economic indicators, debt continues to be a pressing consumer issue with individual overall debt holding relatively steady amongst those seeking debt advice at an average of $15,227.

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Overall debt highest amongst West Coast consumers with average of $19,900
  • Credit card debt remains the most frequent type of consumer debt
  • Student loans rose by 4.5% to become the second most frequent type of debt
  • Three of the top four collection accounts are for telephone companies (Sprint, ATT, and T-Mobile)
  • Despite discount brand status, non-bank credit cards issued by Walmart, Target, Sears and others registered high average balances.

“Consumers continue to be squeezed financially, but they are being practical and focused when it comes to deleveraging, which has become the buzzword and financial strategy of 2011,” said Brad Stroh, CEO and co-founder of “Those consumers forced into late payments are choosing low dollar bills with delayed penalties, while those in more severe debt are searching for the best debt relief strategy for their unique situation.”

Credit Card Debt Highlights

  • Nationally, average credit card debt is $5,500
  • Users hold an average of 2.5 credit card accounts
  • West Coast consumers hold highest credit card debt at $7,100
  • Banks are the top five credit card issuers amongst users.

Types of Debt

The top five types of debt and average balances as reported to Debt Coach include:

Account Type Percentage of Users Average Balance
Credit Card 54% $5,500
Student Loan 15% $11,200
Collections Agency 9% $910
Auto Loan 7% $13,200
Home Loan 6% $168,400

Top Bank Issued Card Balances

The top five bank issued credit card balances by number of accounts:

Account Percentage of Users Average Balance
Chase 17% $7,000
Bank of America 15% $10,800
Capital One 13% $3,000
Citi 8% $8,000
HSBC Bank 7% $1,300

Top Retail Issued Card Balances

The top five retail issued credit card by average account balance:

Account Percentage of Users Average Balance
Sears 2% $3,400
Target National Bank 2% $1,900
Best Buy 3% $1,400
Macy’s 3% $930
Walmart 2% $770


Every quarter, examines usage data from its Debt Coach tool to compile America’s Debt Report. The resulting data highlights important statistics and trends concerning those Americans seeking debt advice and how they choose to eliminate their debt.

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