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2022 Credit Card Debt Statistics
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Americans have an absolute mountain of credit card debt in 2022 — $841 billion, to be exact.
This credit card debt statistics page tracks Americans’ credit card use each month. We update this page regularly, looking at how much debt people have, how often they carry a balance month to month, how often they pay their credit card bills late and more.
In this post
- How much credit card debt do Americans have?
- Which states’ residents have the most credit card debt?
- What percentage of credit card accounts carry a balance?
- What’s the average interest rate on people’s credit cards? What about those who carry a balance?
- How many Americans are currently delinquent with their credit card payments?
How much credit card debt do Americans have?
It’s the first decrease since the first quarter of 2021. However, it’s unlikely to be the beginning of a downward trend, thanks to rampant inflation and rising interest rates.
With the decrease, Americans’ credit card debt is $86 billion below the record set in the fourth quarter of 2019, when balances stood at $927 billion.
Credit card debt in America is still high by historical standards, however. It’s also light-years above the $478 billion seen more than 20 years ago in the first quarter of 1999.
Card debt showed hockey-stick growth until the financial collapse in 2008, when balances fell from $866 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $660 billion in the first quarter of 2013. But, as you can see in the chart below, the hockey stick returned.
Then, when the pandemic took hold in 2020, credit card balances plunged again — falling from $927 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $770 billion in the first quarter of 2021. But — again — the hockey stick returned, thanks to an unprecedented spike in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Which states’ residents have the most credit card debt?
Credit cardholders in New Jersey have the highest average credit card debt of any state, according to LendingTree data, while those in Kentucky have the least.
LendingTree analysts reviewed anonymized January and February 2021 credit report data from more than 1 million LendingTree users to calculate these averages and create a list of states with the most debt.
Overall, the national average card debt among cardholders with unpaid balances was $6,569. That includes debt from both bank cards and retail credit cards.
The four states with the most debt were all on the East Coast, while the three lowest were found in the South. There was a major difference in balances between the states at the top and bottom of our rankings, with New Jersey cardholders owing $7,872 and Kentucky’s owing $5,441. That means the average New Jersey balance is 45% higher than the average balance in Kentucky.
What percentage of credit card accounts carry a balance?
Americans carried a balance on 53% of all active credit card accounts in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the most recent available data from the American Bankers Association.
Job No. 1 for anyone with a credit card is to pay off that balance in full at the end of each month. But we all know that life happens, and that means that it’s not always possible to pay off your credit cards each month.
Unfortunately, most people with an active credit card account don’t always pay their bills in full. More than half of all active accounts carried a balance in the fourth quarter of 2021.
If you look at all credit card accounts, the American Bankers Association data shows that 41% of accounts were active and carried a balance at some point in the fourth quarter of 2021, 36% of accounts were active but didn’t carry a balance and 24% of accounts were dormant for the quarter.
What’s the average interest rate on people’s credit cards? What about those who carry a balance? What about new credit card offers?
For all credit cards, the average APR in the first quarter of 2022 was 14.56%.
For cards accruing interest, the average in the first quarter of 2022 was 16.17%.
For new credit card offers, the average today was 20.17% — the first time that number has topped 20% since we began tracking in 2018.
|Average APRs for current credit card accounts and new card offers|
|Average APR for new credit card offers||20.17%|
|Average APR for all current card accounts||14.56%|
|Average APR for all accounts that accrue interest||16.17%|
Sources: LendingTree data; Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve’s G.19 consumer credit report showed that the average APR for all current credit card accounts edged higher in the first quarter of 2022, up from 14.51% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, APRs for cards accruing interest fell to 16.17%, significantly down from 16.44% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 17.13% in the third quarter. That third-quarter average was the second-highest average since the Fed began tracking this data in 1994.
If you’re planning to get a new credit card, your interest rate will likely be higher than those listed above. The latest LendingTree data on credit card APRs shows that the average APR with a new credit card offer is 20.17%, with the average card offering an APR range of 16.53% to 23.79%, with your rate varying based on your creditworthiness. Expect these rates to rise significantly in the coming months, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s announcement of interest rate hikes in March and May. Cardholders should expect to see their cards’ APRs rise in the next billing cycle or two as a result.
And as the chart below shows, the rate you’re offered can also vary widely based on the type of card for which you apply.
Average interest rates on new credit card offers in the U.S. for June 2022
|Category||Minimum APR||Maximum APR||Average||Previous month|
|Average APR for all new card offers||16.53%||23.79%||20.17%||19.90%|
|0% balance transfer cards||14.43%||23.26%||18.87%||18.47%|
|Cash back cards||15.87%||23.08%||19.48%||19.22%|
|Travel rewards cards||16.25%||24.27%||20.26%||19.91%|
|Airline credit cards||16.76%||24.98%||20.87%||20.46%|
|Hotel credit cards||15.89%||25.18%||20.53%||20.24%|
|Low-interest credit cards||13.08%||22.33%||17.71%||17.41%|
|Grocery rewards cards||15.87%||24.05%||19.96%||19.70%|
|Gas rewards cards||16.22%||24.27%||20.25%||19.96%|
|Dining rewards cards||16.01%||24.09%||20.05%||19.75%|
|Student credit cards||17.03%||22.45%||19.74%||19.39%|
|Secured credit cards||22.22%||22.22%||22.22%||22.06%|
Source: LendingTree review of publicly available terms and conditions for about 200 U.S. credit cards
Of course, your best move is to make those interest rates a moot point by paying your card debt in full, but that’s often easier said than done.
How many Americans are currently delinquent with their credit card payments?
Just 1.73% of credit card accounts are currently at least 30 days delinquent.
According to the most recent delinquency data from the Fed, the 30-day delinquency rate (or the number of folks who are currently at least 30 days late with their credit card payment) rose from 1.63% to 1.73% in the first quarter of 2022.
That’s the third straight quarter of increases. However, delinquency rates are still near historic lows, staying below 2% for the fifth consecutive quarter. Before this streak, rates had never dropped below 2% since tracking began in 1991.
It’s a huge difference from what we saw during the Great Recession, during which delinquencies peaked at nearly 7% in 2009.