Out of Hock

January 12, 2016

There is an old saying regarding personal debt. “The lender remembers things the borrower forgets.” Try not to take on either of these roles, that of the lender or the borrower. Easier said than done. If you have children – even adult children, you often become their bank. Many of us have needy relatives. Sometimes we’re the ones in need and look for loans from family members.

Is this just the nature of things? If so, nature has a way of coming back and biting us. Controlling spending is critical. Debt has become a habit that is hard to break for many of us. Here are the figures for consumer debt in the U.S. for 2014.

U.S. household consumer debt profile:

  • Average credit card debt: $15,611
  • Average mortgage debt: $155,192
  • Average student loan debt: $32,264

In total, American consumers owe:

  • $11.74 trillion in debt
    • An increase of 3.3% from last year
  • $882.6 billion in credit card debt
  • $8.14 trillion in mortgages
  • $1.13 trillion in student loans
    • An increase of 8% from last year