By JLP | July 30, 2007
We’re all familiar with the statistic that claims the average American has $9,000 in credit card debt. Well, according to this Liz Pulliam Weston column, it’s a lie. From the article:
- The majority of U.S. households have no credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Survey of Consumer Finances. About a quarter have no credit cards, and an additional 30% or so pay off their balances every month.
- Of the households that do owe money on credit cards, the median balance was $2,200 — meaning half owe more, half less.
- Only 8.3% of households owe $9,000 or more on their cards.
That’s quite a difference from the conventional wisdom!
Why should we care whether or not it’s a lie? Well, according to Liz (and I agree):
Well, for one, it’s irritating seeing a lie quoted in so many news stories, speeches and blog entries about credit card debt. Our national discussions about consumer indebtedness and bankruptcy are being distorted by the idea that we’re waddling around with four- and five-figure credit card debts.
Of course none of this matters if you have lots of credit card debt.