Credit Card Statistics

  • The average interest rate for standard bank credit cards topped 19% in March 2007, compared to 16.5% in 2003.

College student credit card usage:

  • 43% of freshman owned a credit card, compared with 74% for 4th and 5th year students.
  • 41% of cardholders carried a balance from month to month, and the median amount was $1,000.
  • Approximately 25% of cardholders used their credit card to pay for tuition.
    (SOURCE: American Council On Education,, “Credit Card Ownership and Behavior Among Traditional-Age Undergraduates, 2003-2004)
  • In 1968, consumers’ total credit debt was $8 billion (in current dollars). Now the total exceeds $880 billion.
    (SOURCE: Federal Reserve Bank)
  • More than four out of ten young consumers between the ages of 18 and 21 who surf the Web now own a credit card, and 65% of these young consumers used the Web to apply for a credit card.
    (SOURCE: Forrester Research)
  • At least one in ten consumers have more than 10 credit cards in their wallets. However the overall average number of credit cards per consumer is 4.
    (SOURCE: Experian's "National Score Index")
  • U.S. consumers racked up an estimated $51 billion worth of fast food on their personal credit and debit cards in 2006, compared to $33.2 billion one-year ago.
  • Approximately half of all credit card holders pay only their minimum monthly payments.
    (SOURCE: Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index survey)
  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 40% of American families spend more than they earn.

Copyright 2007 Patrick Beaird