How Much Debt Do Americans Have? Pennsylvanians Owe Less

By Hope Walborn | May 7, 2024 | 2 min. read

Overall American household debt totals $17.50 billion, with an average debt of $103,358 per person, according to an analysis by Business Insider using Experian data from the fourth quarter of 2023.

The types of debt included in this analysis were mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, credit card debt, student loan debt and other personal loans. Medical debt was excluded.

In comparison, Pennsylvanians have less debt than the average American, with only $85,047 owed on average per resident. Owing significantly less than the national average, Pennsylvania ranks 16th for the lowest average debt by state.

As of Q4 2023, Americans’ largest debt was mortgage debt, with a total of $12.25 trillion (excluding HELOCs), which significantly exceeded auto loans ($1.61 trillion), credit card debt ($1.13 trillion) and student loan debt ($1.6 trillion).

The data also shows that debt tends to peak between ages 40-49. The largest source of debt for those under 30 is mortgage debt. Average debt by generation is broken down as follows:

  • Gen Z: $15,105 non-mortgage; $229,897 mortgage,
  • Millennial: $29,702 non-mortgage; $295,689 mortgage
  • Baby Boomers: $32,190 non-mortgage; $277,153 mortgage
  • Gen X: $19,203 non-mortgage; $190,441 mortgage
  • Silent Generation: $7,076 non-mortgage; $141,148 mortgage

Debt can greatly affect credit scores. Credit scores have risen over the last few decades, and the current average FICO score is 718, which is an all-time high. Average debt in 2023 by FICO credit score range is:

  • 300-579 (Poor): $20,766
  • 580-669 (Fair): $29,123
  • 670-739 (Good): $29,625
  • 740-799 (Very Good): $20,991
  • 800-850 (Excellent): $17,209

Overall, total U.S. debt increased $210 billion from Q3 to Q4 in 2023. The state with the highest average debt per resident in Q4 was Washington ($180,462), and the state with the lowest was West Virginia ($64,320).

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