Best Credit Cards of January 2023
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2023 Credit Card Debt Statistics

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Americans have an absolute mountain of credit card debt — $925 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.

How much credit card debt do Americans have?

Americans’ total credit card balance is $925 billion in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest consumer debt data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That’s a $38 billion jump from $887 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

Since the third quarter of 2021, credit card balances have risen by $121 billion. That’s a 15% increase, the largest year-over-year jump in more than 20 years.

With the increase, Americans’ credit card debt stands just $2 billion below the record set in the fourth quarter of 2019, when balances stood at $927 billion. Thanks to rising interest rates, stubborn inflation and myriad other economic factors, it’s likely just a matter of time before credit card balances surpass the 2019 record.

Though balances aren’t quite at record levels yet, they’re still light years above the $480 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 — 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 a massive 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.

LendingTree has deep dives into average credit card debt in California, Texas, Florida and Washington, D.C. The reports include a statewide look at credit card balances, as well as breakdowns of card debt, utilization rates and other key data points in the 10 biggest metros in those states.

What percentage of credit card accounts carry a balance?

Americans carried a balance on 53% of all active credit card accounts in the second quarter of 2022, 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 (53%) of all active accounts carried a balance in the second quarter of 2022, the most recent quarter for which we have data. That’s down 1 percentage point from the first quarter of 2022 and marks the first quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2021. Even with the recent increases, however, that percentage is still well below pre-pandemic levels. For example, 60% of active accounts carried a balance in the first quarter of 2019 before falling throughout 2020 to as low as 51% in the second quarter of 2021.

If you look at all credit card accounts, the American Bankers Association data shows that 40% of accounts were active and carried a balance at some point in the second quarter of 2022, 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 fourth quarter of 2022 was 19.07%.

For cards accruing interest, the average in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 20.40%.

For new credit card offers, the average today is 23.39% — the highest rate we’ve seen since we began tracking rates monthly in 2019.

Average APRs for new credit card offers and current card accounts
Average APR for new credit card offers 23.39%
Average APR for all current card accounts 19.07%
Average APR for all accounts that accrue interest 20.40%

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 jumped to 19.07% in the fourth quarter of 2022, up from 16.27% in the third quarter. Meanwhile, APRs for cards accruing interest shot up to 20.40%, way up from 18.43% in the third quarter. According to the Fed, the average for all card accounts and for those accruing interest are both the highest they’ve been since tracking began 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 23.39%, with the average card offering an APR range of 19.88% to 26.89%, with your rate varying based on your creditworthiness. Those rates have risen significantly in recent months, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s announcement of interest rate hikes in March, May, June, July, September, November and December 2022. The Fed will likely do the same at its next meeting (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1) and at least a time or two more in 2023. When this happens, 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. in January 2023

CategoryMinimum APRMaximum APRAveragePrevious month
Average APR for all new card offers19.88%26.89%23.39%22.91%
0% balance transfer cards17.80%26.86%22.33%21.84%
No-annual-fee cards19.37%26.73%23.05%22.56%
Rewards cards19.63%26.82%23.22%22.74%
Cash back cards19.68%26.47%23.07%22.64%
Travel rewards cards19.79%27.50%23.64%23.14%
Airline credit cards20.20%28.44%24.32%23.91%
Hotel credit cards20.04%28.06%24.05%23.48%
Low-interest credit cards13.43%23.19%18.31%17.77%
Grocery rewards cards19.66%27.31%23.48%23.04%
Gas rewards cards19.84%27.19%23.51%23.07%
Dining rewards cards19.73%27.54%23.63%23.17%
Student credit cards20.35%25.78%23.06%22.42%
Secured credit cards25.34%25.34%25.34%24.84%

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 2.08% 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 consumers who are currently at least 30 days late with their credit card payment) rose from 1.85% to 2.08% in the third quarter of 2022.

That’s the fourth straight quarter of increases, pushing rates above 2% for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2020. However, delinquency rates are still near historic lows. Before falling below 2% in the first quarter of 2021, rates had never dropped below that number since tracking began in 1991.

It’s a huge difference from what we saw during the Great Recession, when delinquencies peaked at nearly 7% in 2009.


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