The Prototype of the Average American Citizen – of Finances, Savings and Debt

English: Day 3 of the protest Occupy Wall Stre...

English: Day 3 of the protest Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While every individual is unique, the ‘prototype’ of the average American who is a representative of the most common characteristics found in the United States population is 37 years-old, which is the current median age of an American, a non-Hispanic White, which follows the largest demographic in the country, and works in retail sales, which is the most common occupation in the United States.

It has been found that on average, Americans, as typified by this prototype, have more than $225,000 in debt and less than $500 in emergency savings, found after examining the average American in terms of earnings, savings, and credit card, student loan, auto loan, and mortgage debt.

The long term consequence of this is that while there is a dramatic return to permanent, long-term employment in the private sector, this “prototype” is in a dire scenario, which leaves him/her drowning in debt and without adequate savings, especially as more companies rely on temporary, low-wage work.

The report also found the following:

  • Average American debt: $225,238
  • U.S. median income: $52,762
  • Average credit card debt among indebted households: $15,263
  • Average credit card interest rate: 14.95% APR
  • Average mortgage debt: $147,591
  • Average outstanding student loan balance: $31,646
  • Average auto loan debt: $30,738
  • Only 59 percent of Americans have at least $500 in a savings account saved

Question: Where are you on these scales?  How far/close are you to this prototype? What are you doing to plan yourself out of debt?


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