Logo

Is It Normal to Have Debt?

3 min read
DebtNewNormal-Header-Blog

Do you look at your various bills at month’s end and calculate your overall debt? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by that number? You’re not alone.

We know it can be stressful to see your debt balance grow. Maybe you wonder how long it will take to chip away at your debt or question if you have done something wrong along the way. But rest assured, nearly everyone you know has grappled with debt. Your neighbors have, your co-workers have, even the most admired CEOs, celebrities, and global investors have dealt with debt. Don’t make the mistake of equating professional success with a debt-free lifestyle—for many, much of those paychecks end up going to six-figure student debt.

Bottom line: People from all walks of life have debt.

For many of us, some debt is fine—even healthy—when it helps us reach a financial goal like owning a home or earning a degree. But the first step in getting a better understanding of your own debt is to take a look at what the debt situation is for an average American household.

How normal is it?

More than three-quarters of American families (77.1 percent) have some amount of revolving debt, according to a September 2017 report from the Federal Reserve. These debts can range from student loans and credit card debts to mortgages and personal loans.

Table with type of debt and total owed by average US household

How do you measure up?

Now that you know the debt situation for the average American, the next time you are adding up your credit card balances, keep your financial status in perspective.

“But what if I owe more than the average American in credit card debt,” you may ask?

Fret not, this is when you can start looking at your debt holistically—from auto loans to mortgages and everything in between.

What’s most important? Your plan.

What’s most important is that you know your own debt mix, and you have a pay-down plan. If your debt has a high interest or if you have a tough time keeping track of all your monthly bills, you can consolidate it into a fixed, low-rate personal loan.

In a perfect world, we would love to pay off our credit card balance in full every month, but that can’t always happen, and that is okay. In fact, it’s normal: Close to 61 percent of Americans who have ever owned a credit card said they have carried a balance from one month to the next, either currently or previously. If you carry a balance more often than not, you’re not bad. But you’re likely overpaying on interest.

What you can do now

Wondering what steps you can take to ease your debt?

1. Ask for an APR reduction

It never hurts to ask, and your credit card company wants to keep you as a customer. You can even set a reminder on your phone to call every 12-18 months to request a reduction in APR. Tip: if you’re having trouble finding your current credit card APR, check the last two pages of your statement. Sometimes they’re buried!

2. Consider a personal loan to consolidate your debts

If your debt isn’t working for you or is still causing you too much stress, you may want to reduce the amount of money you are putting toward interest. You can alleviate financial stress by reducing the number of bills you have to keep track of each month, and by knowing that your interest rate won’t fluctuate. You can also look into creative ways to pay off debt.

3. Take a deep breath and know you’re not alone in having debt

People with debt come from all walks of life, all professions, and all backgrounds. If you have debt, you’re normal! And there are solutions to any debt-related issues that arise like using the debt snowball method, in part because it is so common. The more you know, the easier it becomes to face your debt—and take control of it.

Want to learn more? Check out our Resource Center, where you can find articles about what affects your credit score and interest rates, why people get personal loans, and personal finance basics.

You May Also Like

Related Resource Center
Soft inquiries won’t impact your credit scores, and hard inquiries can hurt your scores slightly. Here's what you need to know.
Oct 9, 2023
6 min read
woman on mobile phone image
Having a money plan in place before you turn in your resignation can make the transition smoother. Learn ways to prepare your finances before you go.
Sep 4, 2023
5 min read
Young man relaxing in an orange hammock by a misty lake holding a cup of coffee, looking at laptop on his lap.
Take control of your money and personal wellbeing with tips to recognize burnout and restore your physical, financial, and emotional health.
Aug 7, 2023
6 min read
Woman in pink blazer sitting on ground with laptop in lap next to young girl looking at documents
With six in 10 U.S. consumers living paycheck to paycheck, could budgeting, saving, debt management, or side income be the antidote?
Jul 25, 2023
5 min read
Paycheck to Paycheck
Your credit score plays a role in nearly every financial move you make. Having a great credit score can save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars a year through lower interest rates on your credit card accounts, personal loans, moving loans, car loans, or mortgage.
Jul 9, 2023
4 min read
Man in denim button up holding a phone, sitting at table smiling
Related Impact
From groceries and diapers to Halloween costumes for pets, nearly 60% of American consumers prefer to shop online for everyday items that make life more convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable. And with rising prices showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, we’re pleased to introduce StackitTM from LendingClub Bank—a new browser extension that automatically finds and rewards eligible members with coupons and cash back for extra savings at more than 15,000 favorite online retailers.
Nov 13, 2022
2 min read
blog header stackit 765x430 v1-1
Even in today’s low-yield, high-inflation environment, it’s essential to keep a certain amount of money in an easy-to-access checking or savings account for things like daily household and emergency expenses, or to meet short-term financial goals.
Oct 2, 2022
5 min read
LendingClub Rewards Checking Nationally Certified as Trusted, Afforda
Since 2007, LendingClub has been on a mission to deliver a world-class experience to all our members. This month we took a moment to reflect on the more than four million members who have chosen LendingClub as their partner to help them reach their financial goals.
Apr 19, 2022
2 min read
Illustration of large number 4 and letter M made up of colorful, tiny illustrations of ethnically diverse people
In March 2022, we hosted our first quarterly webinar where we celebrated our one-year anniversary as a digital marketplace bank. 
Mar 6, 2022
less than a minute read
Blog-post
LendingClub completed the acquisition of Radius Bank in February 2021. At that time, in addition to the direct-to-consumer deposit business, we inherited a fintech partner program, and several lending businesses. As we reach the one-year anniversary of the acquisition, and in conjunction with the conclusion of a strategic review of our business operations, we have made the decision to discontinue certain businesses that don’t fit our mission.  
Jan 2, 2022
2 min read
Man in blue button up shirt and glasses smiling
Related FAQ's
We offer several ways for you to make your monthly auto loan payment, so you can choose the method that works best for you. A statement will be mailed to you every month that shows the payment amount and due date.
Nov 29, 2023
less than a minute read
LendingClub provides a year-end statement that summarizes your account activity, including how much interest you’ve earned and information regarding Notes tied to loans that have been charged off.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
Applying for a lending product is fast, easy, and confidential.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
Adding creditors to your balance transfer loan is easy.
Jun 7, 2023
3 min read
To qualify for a lending product with LendingClub Bank, you must...
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
Related Glossary
{noun} A type of credit that allows the borrower to make charges and payments against a set borrowing limit, paying interest only on outstanding balances.
Sep 6, 2023
4 min read
{noun} The total annual cost to borrow money, including fees, expressed as a percentage.
Mar 21, 2023
3 min read
{noun} The amount of unpaid interest that has accumulated as of a specific date, either on a loan or an interest-bearing account or investment. 
Mar 21, 2023
4 min read
A debt that is written off as a loss because the financial institution or creditor believes it is no longer collectible due to a substantial period of nonpayment.
Feb 7, 2023
3 min read
{noun} An interest rate that remains the same for a set time, usually for the life of the loan.
Feb 4, 2023
3 min read

LendingClub Bank and its affiliates (collectively, "LendingClub") do not offer legal, financial, or other professional advice. The content on this page is for informational or advertising purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. LendingClub is not affiliated with or making any representation as to the company(ies), services, and/or products referenced. LendingClub is not responsible for the content of third-party website(s), and links to those sites should not be viewed as an endorsement. By clicking links to third-party website(s), users are leaving LendingClub’s website. LendingClub does not represent any third party, including any website user, who enters into a transaction as a result of visiting a third-party website. Privacy and security policies of third-party websites may differ from those of the LendingClub website.

Savings are not guaranteed and depend upon various factors, including but not limited to interest rates, fees, and loan term length.

A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $19,584 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 10.29% and a 6.00% origination fee of $1,190 for an APR of 14.60%. In this example, the borrower will receive $18,663 and will make 36 monthly payments of $643. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths range from 24 months to 60 months. Some amounts, rates, and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states.

For Personal Loans, APR ranges from 9.57% to 35.99% and origination fee ranges from 3.00% to 8.00% of the loan amount. APRs and origination fees are determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of July 11, 2024 and are subject to change without notice.

Checking a rate through us generates a soft credit inquiry on a person’s credit report, which is visible only to that person. A hard credit inquiry, which is visible to that person and others, and which may affect that person’s credit score, only appears on the person’s credit report if and when a loan is issued to the person. Credit eligibility is not guaranteed. APR and other credit terms depend upon credit score and other key financing characteristics, including but not limited to the amount financed, loan term length, and credit usage and history.  

Unless otherwise specified, all credit and deposit products are provided by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Credit products are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment. ​Deposit accounts are subject to approval. Only deposit products are FDIC insured.

“LendingClub” and the “LC” symbol are trademarks of LendingClub Bank.

© 2024 LendingClub Bank. All rights reserved.