Americans are increasing their debt levels

According to a new study of Federal Reserve data, Americans’ debt level is on the rise. In fact, the report found that Americans are about to hit a point where they have more debt than during the recent recession.

Man carying a box labeled debtThe study found that the average household credit card debt is now $16,061. That’s a 10 percent jump from 10 years ago and an increase from $15,762 last year. If the current pace continues, total debt—which includes mortgages, auto loans and student loans—for American households is expected to pass Great Recession levels by the end of the year. The main culprits? Mortgages and student loans. Average household mortgage debt is now at $172,806, compared to $159,020 in 2010. Average household student loan debt has also increased, from $20,032 a decade ago to $28,535 this year.

Another factor behind the rising debt levels is as old as the sun above: People cannot seem to stick to a budget. While median household income has increased by 28 percent over the last 13 years, expenses have blown that away. As Marketwatch reports, medical costs increased by 57 percent during that period; food prices by 36 percent.

If you’re seeing your debt levels increase, you know your New Year’s resolution. Create and stick to a spending plan. Make paying down your debt a priority. If you’re struggling with student loan debt, check into repayment options and find one that can help you make some inroads. Make 2017 a better year before it even really gets started.

By Chris O’Shea, Copywrite, SavvyMoney.com