Americans Accrue Massive Debt While Living Paycheck to Paycheck

( – A recent survey indicated that most U.S. credit card debt was being held by Americans dependent on each and every paycheck. The November 2023 survey showed that 62% of respondents required their regular paycheck to cover their monthly expenses.

The same cohort holds nearly 60% of all credit cards in the country, and many have multiple credit cards.

The survey also suggested that poorer families tended to use their credit card as a means to cover additional expenditures and carried the debt for more than one payment period. The report added that paycheck-to-paycheck consumers were nearly twice as likely to carry a balance as those who were better off financially. Nearly a third of respondents reported approaching their credit limit at least once in the previous 12 months. The average amount for that limit was around $9,200.

Total credit card debt owed by Americans is now approaching $1.1 trillion with $48 billion in total credit card spending during the third quarter of 2023, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

The survey indicated that 40% of those with the debt also tended to have high credit scores north of 720 points. It said that these people are more likely than not to use their credit card for everyday transactions. This group tends to have an excellent awareness of their means and uses their credit margins to stay within it which returns excellent credit scores.

Consumers also reported that they regularly monitored their credit scores, with 80% of respondents saying it was “extremely or very important” to them. The average respondent checked their score once every quarter.

More millennials are suffering from financial woes as well, according to another survey. The median age for Americans seeking financial assistance with debt dropped to 44 in 2023 compared to 52 in 2020. Millennials were the largest group in the cohort to expand, making up just 25% of those seeking assistance in 2020 versus 39% in 2023.

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