Credit cards, student loans, mortgages, car loans, personal loans: Most Americans have a combination of these sources of debt. And despite their best intentions, Americans are digging themselves deeper into a hole each year.
The average American now has about $38,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages. That's up $1,000 from a year ago, according to Northwestern Mutual's 2018 Planning & Progress Study, which also reports that "fewer people said they carry 'no debt' this year compared to 2017 (23 percent vs. 27 percent)."
"Despite recognizing that debt is dangerous waters, Americans are jumping in with both feet and struggling to stay afloat," says Emily Holbrook, director of planning for Northwestern Mutual.
Credit cards and mortgages tied as the leading source of debt, followed by student loans and car loans, according to the survey. The findings are based on a survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults, including an oversampling of more than 600 millennials.