You have a lot of budget categories in your life. Savings. Credit Cards. Student loans, maybe. Car loans, most likely. Well, did you know that each and every one of these categories has insane money statistics? We’re talking the kind of thing that makes you sit up and go “whoa!” in disbelief.
Across the U.S., money statistics have become insane. Let’s look at the 14 most surprising.
Insane Credit Card Statistics
- More than 38 percent of households in the U.S. have credit card debt.
- When households have a credit card balance, the average on their cards is over $16,000.
- Total U.S. revolving credit debt is $929 billion.
Take-Away: Don’t max out your credit card. In fact, credit cards are risky. They let you pay for things, but you want to guard against being one of the $16,000-in-debt folks. They all started with just one purchase. Save for your purchases rather than rely on credit.
Insane Car Loan Statistics
- In 2016, for the first time, the average car loan amount rose to more than $30,000, to $30,032.
- With that increase came a hike in monthly payments to an average of $503.
- It’s the first-time average car payments have ever risen above $500.
- The average term for car loans is the longest it’s ever been at 68 months — that’s 5.6 years.
Take-Away: Think about used cars. They’re cheaper than new ones, so the loan may be less than half that of a new car. Save up for a down payment, too, to cut the amount you need to borrow.
Insane Savings Statistics
- Think bank accounts are universal? Ten million U.S. households have no bank account at all.
- Forty-six percent of people in the U.S. could not afford $400 in case of an emergency.
- Twenty-nine percent of U.S. workers have under $1,000 in their savings accounts.
- Forty-two percent of U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck, including one-quarter of all households that bring in salaries of over $100,000 annually.
Take-Away: Save up three to six months of living expenses in case of emergencies such as layoffs and for those $400 emergencies such as car repair and health insurance deductibles. Reduce expenses so you can have as high a savings rate as possible.
Insane Student Loan Statistics
- In 2016, the average student had $37,172 in student loans — six percent higher than 2015’s.
- In the 20 to 30-year-old age group, the average monthly payment on student loans is $351.
- The average monthly student loan payment for people 20-30 years old is $351.
- Total student loan debt in 2016 hit $1.26 trillion across the U.S., with 44 million borrowers.
Take-Away: If you think $351 every month is a lot, you’re right. See if you can get an income-based payment plan or consolidate your student loans to decrease the monthly amount. Put every dollar you can into paying them off.
Also, know about the potentially hampering effects of excess debt before you finalize college plans. Can you go in-state for a tuition break? Have you researched grants? Look carefully and thoroughly into student financial aid.
Your Insane Statistics Plan
As you can see from the insane statistics here, millennials are facing tough economic times even as the economy picks up. If you have just average credit card debt, student loan debt, car loan debt and savings, you are shelling out huge portions of your disposable income every month just on servicing stuff you already have.
That can really put a crimp in your ability to save for down payments on homes and starting a family. Think about your finances with debt and savings in mind. Can you cut costs by sharing housing? Moving back with parents? If only until your debt is paid off, it can really help.
Think long term, too. It may be exciting to think about living in large cities like New York or Los Angeles. But they’re super expensive, and your rent will be sky-high. In the Midwest, not so much. Scout real estate prices for your planned career.
Insane money statistics? Oh, yes. So, fight back. Don’t become just a statistic in the world of insane money statistics. Instead of feeling shocked at what you see, consider how you can stop being a number in the debt game.