DebtHelp Weighs In on American Debt Trends and the Need for Debt Assistance Programs

April 9, 2020 at 4:00 AM
by DebtHelp, Inc
debt assistance programs

Americans carry a lot of debt. And while the economy changes, so does the landscape of how much debt we carry, how we’re able to manage that debt and how much we require the help of debt assistance programs. To fully understand why programs like ours are so important, we at DebtHelp want to weigh in on the credit industry trends that reflect the importance of our debt assistance programs to so many consumers.

Debt Trends

The shape of our economy is always shifting, and the personal debt each of us carries moves along with it. Here’s what the average American is facing.

Balances Increase

As the landscape of employment changes and more young people enter the job market at entry-level wages, they’re not only carrying student loan debt, but they’re also getting and using credit cards and personal and auto loans. The average debt load held by millennials has increased by 58 percent since 2015 and is around $78,000. (1) All generations but the silent generation and baby boomers grew their debt balances:

  • Generation Z: up 22 percent
  • Millennials: up 58 percent
  • Generation X: up 10 percent
  • Baby Boomers: down 7.5 percent
  • Silent Generation: down 7.7 percent

Generation X leads the country with the highest average debt of $135,841. This number includes a mix of all debt tools such as mortgage, credit cards, student debt and personal loans. (1)

Credit Cards Are a Big Issue

Credit cards can be a great way to boost your credit score, earn perks and rewards, and give you convenient spending power. The best-case scenario is to use a credit card during the month and pay it off in full every time you get the bill. Unfortunately, cards are used to make up for a lack of income in many households.

In general, Americans hold a record-high $829 billion dollars in credit card debt. Forty-five percent of us feel nervous about our debt because, not counting our mortgages, we owe about $30,000 in total debt. We have an average of four credit cards each, on which we owe just over $6,000. (2)


With so much personal debt and income levels rising at a slower rate than our debt, we’re defaulting on our accounts simply because they’re too hard to keep up with. Over 60 percent of us have credit cards, and each generation struggles to make payments on time. The percentage of people who miss payments is staggering. Generation Z leads the way at 13 percent, and each generation decreases from there: (1)

  • Millennials: 11.5 percent
  • Generation X: 8.75 percent
  • Baby Boomers: 4.24 percent
  • Silent Generation: 2.75 percent


At DebtHelp, we want to help consumers build a brighter and stronger financial future through our debt assistance programs. We understand this can’t be done without managing their debt. If you have more than $5,000 in unsecured debt, you’re eligible for our program. We pair you with a debt advisor to assess your situation and help you decide if our program is right for you.

Expensive payments are the reason people get behind – they’re simply too high per month to cover. We work with you to develop a monthly budget that you actually can afford. We tailor this plan to you and, from there, determine how long it will take to pay off your debt.

We then help settle your delinquent and past due accounts. We work with your creditors to reduce your total amount owed and make your debt more manageable. This helps you to be better able to pay off the remaining balances and be well on your way to financial freedom.

Reach Out

We are a compassionate and non-judgmental organization dedicated to helping people just like you dig their way out from underneath debt. We act as your advocate and navigate the intimidating world of debt for you. You can contact us here or call 888-254-4516.