Borrowing Money

Infographic: Get the Facts on Debt Consolidation

Most Americans have some type of credit card, student loan or other general consumer debt—and 26 percent have no plan to pay it off.1 This doesn’t have to be the case, as there are ways everyone, in every situation, can begin to tackle their debt. For many, the challenge is just knowing how to start.

Just the (debt) facts

38% of Americans have unpaid credit card balances2

$6,929: The average household revolving credit card debt3

$1,141: The amount of interest paid each year by the average household with revolving credit card debt3

$40,000: The average student loan debt for the graduating Class of 20174

3 major spending categories have seen costs rise faster than income in the last decade:3

Medical costs up 34%

Food and beverage prices up 22%

Housing cost up 20%

So if you have debt, you're not alone. Take a look at the map below to see how your debt compares to the average consumer in your state. How do you compare? Hover over each state to see the average credit card balances5 and student loans6.

So if you have debt, you're not alone. Take a look at the map below to see how your debt compares to the average consumer in your state. How do you compare? Select a state to see the average credit card balances5 and student loans6.

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Credit card:

Student loan:

What can you do?

The good news is there are solutions to help you reduce your debt and stay on track. Simple lifestyle changes—making extra payments (even small ones) or setting and sticking to a budget—can help you pay down your debt. Additionally, there are steps you can take beyond expense-cutting or getting a side job. One option you may want to look into is debt consolidation.


Debt consolidation is exactly what it sounds like: the consolidation of your debts, such as credit card balances, medical bills or personal loans (debts that are not supported by collateral, such as your home or car) into a single loan.

What are the benefits of debt consolidation?7

1.
Lower interest rate: When you consolidate your balances, there’s a good chance you’ll also be able to get a lower interest rate.
2.
Easier to manage: With multiple debts moved into one place, you’ll have fewer monthly payments to make.
3.
Better credit score: One factor in your credit score is credit utilization—how much debt you have compared to how much credit you’ve been given. As your debt goes down, your utilization goes down—and your score could go up.
Once you consolidate your debt, you’ll free up your credit card balances. You may be tempted to close those accounts, but it’s more effective to demonstrate available (but unused) credit.

Not a one-size-fits-all approach

Depending on how much debt you have, as well as other factors like your income or home equity, you will want to explore different options for debt consolidation, such as:

1.
Credit card balance transfer: Consolidate multiple high-interest credit card balances onto a single credit card with a lower interest rate.
2.
Home equity line of credit (HELOC): Turn the equity you have in your home into a revolving line of credit with a low interest rate and pay off higher rate balances.
3.
Personal loan: Consider an unsecured loan specifically designed for debt consolidation.

A smart move is to speak with a banker about what makes the most sense for you. Having a plan in place is the best way to get ahead.

Get the Facts on Debt and Consolidation:
Make a plan to pay off your debt.

Most Americans have some type of credit card, student loan or other general consumer debt—and 26 percent have no plan to pay it off (Source 1). This doesn’t have to be the case, as there are ways everyone, in every situation, can begin to tackle their debt. For many, the challenge is just knowing how to start.

Section 1: Just the (debt) facts

38% of Americans have unpaid credit card balances (source 2). $6,081: The average household revolving credit card debt (Source 3). $904: The amount of interest paid each year by the average household with revolving credit card debt (Source 3). $40,000: The average student loan debt for the graduating Class of 2017 (Source 4). 3 major spending categories have seen costs rise faster than income in the last decade: Medical costs up 34%, Food and beverage prices up 22%, Housing costs up 20% (Source 3)

So if you have debt, you’re not alone. Take a look at the map below to see how your debt compares to the average consumer in your state.

How do you compare? Hover over each state to see the average credit card balances (Source 5) and student loans (Source 6).

  • Alabama: Credit card: $3,710.56. Credit card (household): $7,198.48. Student loan: $31,899.
  • Alaska: Credit card: $5,879.85. Credit card (household): $11,406.91. Student loan: $25,682.
  • Arizona: Credit card: $4,299.70. Credit card (household): $8,341.42. Student loan: $23,967.
  • Arkansas: Credit card: $3,289.01. Credit card (household): $6,380.69. Student loan: $26,799.
  • California: Credit card: $4,569.51. Credit card (household): $8,864.85. Student loan: $22,785.
  • Colorado: Credit card: $4,898.56. Credit card (household): $9,503.20. Student loan: $26,530
  • Connecticut: Credit card: $5,171.89. Credit card (household): $10,033.47. Student loan: $38,510.
  • Delaware: Credit card: $4,338.88. Credit card (household): $8,417.42. Student loan: $34,144.
  • Florida: Credit card: $4,318.35. Credit card (household): $8,377.59. Student loan: $24,041.
  • Georgia: Credit card: $4,727.46. Credit card (household): $9,171.27. Student loan: $28,653.
  • Hawaii: Credit card: $5,330.46. Credit card (household): $10,341.09. Student loan: $25,125.
  • Idaho: Credit card: $3,791.84. Credit card (household): $7,356.18. Student loan: $26,675.
  • Illinois: Credit card: $4,412.71. Credit card (household): $8,560.65. Student loan: $29,214.
  • Indiana: Credit card: $3,624.05. Credit card (household): $7,030.65. Student loan: $29,561.
  • Iowa: Credit card: $3,169.16. Credit card (household): $6,148.17. Student loan: $29,859.
  • Kansas: Credit card: $3,854.05. Credit card (household): $7,476.85. Student loan: $27,720.
  • Kentucky: Credit card: $3,457.67. Credit card (household): $6,707.88. Student loan: $28,447.
  • Louisiana: Credit card: $3,767.91. Credit card (household): $7,309.75. Student loan: $27,210.
  • Maine: Credit card: $3,905.56. Credit card (household): $7,576.78. Student loan: $31,364.
  • Maryland: Credit card: $5,287.61. Credit card (household): $10,257.96. Student loan: $29,314.
  • Massachusetts: Credit card: $4,720.53. Credit card (household): $9,157.83. Student loan: $32,065.
  • Michigan: Credit card: $3,458.51. Credit card (household): $6,709.51. Student loan: $31,289.
  • Minnesota: Credit card: $4,257.26. Credit card (household): $8,259.08. Student loan: $31,734.
  • Mississippi: Credit card: $3,204.95. Credit card (household): $6,217.60. Student loan: $30,439.
  • Missouri: Credit card: $3,763.46. Credit card (household): $7,301.11. Student loan: $27,108.
  • Montana: Credit card: $3,732.83. Credit card (household): $7,241.69. Student loan: $28,466.
  • Nebraska: Credit card: $3,594.46. Credit card (household): $6,973.25. Student loan: $25,750.
  • Nevada: Credit card: $4,263.19. Credit card (household): $8,270.59. Student loan: $22,064.
  • New Hampshire: Credit card: $4,943.44. Credit card (household): $9,590.27. Student loan: $34,415.
  • New Jersey: Credit card: $5,361.06. Credit card (household): $10,400.47. Student loan: $32,247.
  • New Mexico: Credit card: $4,185.93. Credit card (household): $8,120.71. Student loan: $21,237.
  • New York: Credit card: $4,969.84. Credit card (household): $9,641.50. Student loan: $30,931.
  • North Carolina: Credit card: $4,124.04. Credit card (household): $8,000.63. Student loan: $26,526.
  • North Dakota: Credit card: $3,756.19. Credit card (household): $7,287.00.
  • Ohio: Credit card: $3,738.95. Credit card (household): $7,253.56. Student loan: $30,629.
  • Oklahoma: Credit card: $4,038.90. Credit card (household): $7,835.47. Student loan: $25,952.
  • Oregon: Credit card: $3,881.17. Credit card (household): $7,529.48. Student loan: $27,885.
  • Pennsylvania: Credit card: $4,209.21. Credit card (household): $8,165.86. Student loan: $36,854.
  • Rhode Island: Credit card: $4,376.34. Credit card (household): $8,490.10. Student loan: $36,250.
  • South Carolina: Credit card: $4,187.65. Credit card (household): $8,124.04. Student loan: $30,891.
  • South Dakota: Credit card: $3,608.28. Credit card (household): $7,000.07. Student loan: $31,275.
  • Tennessee: Credit card: $3,903.24. Credit card (household): $7,572.28. Student loan: $25,252.
  • Texas: Credit card: $4,937.00. Credit card (household): $9,577.78. Student loan: $26,824.
  • Utah: Credit card: $3,775.21. Credit card (household): $7,323.92. Student loan: $18,838.
  • Vermont: Credit card: $4,199.77. Credit card (household): $8,147.56. Student loan: $30,651.
  • Virginia: Credit card: $5,404.32. Credit card (household): $10,484.38. Student loan: $29,887.
  • Washington: Credit card: $4,568.09. Credit card (household): $8,862.09. Student loan: $23,936.
  • West Virginia: Credit card: $3,381.36. Credit card (household): $6,559.84. Student loan: $27,505.
  • Wisconsin: Credit card: $3,410.29. Credit card (household): $6,615.96. Student loan: $29,569.
  • Wyoming: Credit card: $3,944.72. Credit card (household): $7,652.76. Student loan: $22,524.

Section 2: What can you do?
The good news is there are solutions to help you reduce your debt and stay on track. Simple lifestyle changes—making extra payments (even small ones) or setting and sticking to a budget—can help you pay down your debt. Additionally, there are steps you can take beyond expense-cutting or getting a side job. One option you may want to look into is debt consolidation.

Debt consolidation is exactly what it sounds like: the consolidation of your debts, such as credit card balances, medical bills or personal loans (debts that are not supported by collateral, such as your home or car) into a single loan.

Section 3: What are the benefits of debt consolidation?
Lower interest rate: When you consolidate your balances, there’s a good chance you’ll also be able to get a lower interest rate. Easier to manage: With multiple debts moved into one place, you’ll have fewer monthly payments to make. Better credit score: One factor in your credit score is credit utilization—how much debt you have compared to how much credit you’ve been given. As your debt goes down, your utilization goes down—and your score could go up. (Source 7)

TIP: Once you consolidate your debt, you’ll free up your credit card balances. You may be tempted to close those accounts, but it’s more effective to demonstrate available (but unused) credit.

Section 4: Not a one-size-fits-all approach
Depending on how much debt you have, as well as other factors like your income or home equity, you will want to explore different options for debt consolidation, such as: Credit card balance transfer: Consolidate multiple high-interest credit card balances onto a single credit card with a lower interest rate. Home equity line of credit (HELOC): Turn the equity you have in your home into a revolving line of credit with a low interest rate and pay off higher rate balances. Personal loan: Consider an unsecured loan specifically designed for debt consolidation.

A smart move is to speak with a banker about what makes the most sense for you. Having a plan in place is the best way to get ahead.

Put your plan in place today

Talk with a lender to find a debt consolidation solution that makes sense for you.

Sources:

  1. Source 1: “When do you plan on being out of debt,“ July 2017, Lending Tree
  2. Source 2: “Credit card debt statistics,“ June 2018, CreditCards.com
  3. Source 3: “2017 American Household Credit Card Debt Study“ 2017, Nerdwallet
  4. Source 4: “Student Loan Debt Statistics For 2018,“ 2018, Make Lemonade
  5. Source 5: “Average Credit Card Debt in the U.S. in 2018,“ July 2018, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Equifax Consumer Credit Panel and MagnifyMoney
  6. Source 6: “Student Debt and the Class of 2017,“ September 2018, The Institute for College Access & Success
  7. Source 7: “Debt Consolidation,“ February 2018, Debt.org

Put your plan in place today

Talk with a lender to find a debt consolidation solution that makes sense for you.

1 “When do you plan on being out of debt,” July 2017, Lending Tree

2 “Credit card debt statistics,” June 2018, CreditCards.com

3 “2018 American Household Credit Card Debt Study” 2018, Nerdwallet

4 “Student Loan Debt Statistics For 2018,” 2018, Make Lemonade

5 “Average Credit Card Debt in the U.S. in 2018,” July 2018, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Equifax Consumer Credit Panel and MagnifyMoney

6 “Student Debt and the Class of 2017,” September 2018, The Institute for College Access & Success

7 “Debt Consolidation,” February 2018, Debt.org

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