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The State of Debt in America: Spinwheel’s 2022 Look at Debt and Personal Finance

The State of Debt in America: Spinwheel’s 2022 Look at Debt and Personal Finance
January 21, 2023 | 5mins Read

Today, 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck; of those with unpaid credit card balances, the average debt is $6569, and Americans’ total credit debt is close to $1 Trillion, marking a 15% increase from Q2 2021. That’s the largest year-over-year jump in 20 years. 

Add mounting debt on top of an environment of economic uncertainty, it’s not hard to imagine the challenges and fears many are facing right now. To better understand the current state of Americans’ debt picture, we surveyed 475 American adults who have debt other than a mortgage. Here’s what we found: 

Debt is pervasive.

More than half of those surveyed (53%) reported having credit card debt with a balance. 42% said they have an auto loan, 21% have medical debt, 19% have a personal loan and 11% have a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) loan.


Older generations are more likely to have credit card debt.

Only 32% of those 29 years old and younger have credit card debt with a balance, as opposed to 50% of 30-44 year olds and 63% of those 45 and older.


Debt transcends credit scores.

More than 60% of people with a credit score under 740 carry a balance on a credit card. People with credit scores under 670 were most likely to have a BNPL loan. 43% of people with an under 580 credit score have medical debt.


Women and 30-44 year olds are the most stressed about debt.

45% of 30-44 year olds and 47% of women reported feeling stressed about their debt. That compares to 14% of people over 60 and 34% of men who said the same.


For people stressed about debt, improving debt-to-income ratio and paying off debt faster are a top priority.

74% of people stressed about their debt said improving their debt-to-income ratio was “very important.” Sixty-six percent also said paying off their debt faster was “very important.”


Debt + economic uncertainty are a toxic combo.

85% of people said recent economic conditions affected their overall financial situation, with those aged 45-60 being the most impacted. Additionally, 60% of people who are stressed about their debt said they have been very impacted by current economic conditions.


89.5% of people want to see all of their debt in one place as the most requested feature in financial apps.

This highlights the importance of financial apps and services helping consumers engage more deeply with seeing, understanding, and managing their debt.


While this may be a startling picture, it underscores the need for meaningful solutions that will help people get out from under their debt. Spinwheel’s embedded debt tech gives financial institutions, card issuers, lenders, and fintechs easy ways to help consumers manage their debt and gain confidence in their finances. Our solutions include 1-Click Pre-Qualification Refinancing, 1-Click Direct Pay, 1-Click Balance Transfers, and Comprehensive Debt Management. Contact us to learn more.

Spinwheel’s survey was conducted in November 2022 with 475 American adults holding some form of debt other than a mortgage.



About the author: Spinwheel is on a mission to make it easier to manage debt. Our Loan APIs make it easy to embed consumer loan data, including credit card debt, student loans, personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages, directly into your app or product. With just one connection, you'll be able to help your business and your users improve financial outcomes. We call this Better Debt. Read More >

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