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

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 TypePercentage of UsersAverage Balance
Credit Card54%$5,500
Student Loan15%$11,200
Collections Agency9%$910
Auto Loan7%$13,200
Home Loan6%$168,400


Top Bank Issued Card Balances

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

AccountPercentage of UsersAverage Balance
Bank of America15%$10,800
Capital One13%$3,000
HSBC Bank7%$1,300


Top Retail Issued Card Balances

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

AccountPercentage of UsersAverage Balance
Target National Bank2%$1,900
Best Buy3%$1,400



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.

About is the leading resource for free and personalized money help. Founded by a group of financial experts intent on helping consumers save time, money and stress, is designed to give consumers confidence in making money decisions. The site offers useful information, powerful tools, and real money experts to give consumers the information they need in the way they want it.