American families are taking on increasing amounts of debt as incomes fail to keep pace.
Indebted households today have credit card balances averaging $16,061 — just shy of 2008's high, according to a new NerdWallet report, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Census Bureau.
And total household debt, including mortgages, has ballooned to $132,529, up from $88,063 in 2002, when NerdWallet started tracking the data. While household income has grown by 28 percent in the past 13 years, it lags the the cost of living, which increased 30 percent during the period.
Medical expenses jumped the most, up 57 percent since 2003, while the cost of food rose 36 percent and housing increased 32 percent.