Value of debt owned by consumers in the U.S. 2019, by type

Consumers in the United States had 13.95 trillion dollars in debt in September 2019, the majority of which was home mortgages, at 9.44 trillion U.S. dollars. Student loan debt was the second largest component, totaling 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars.

Why is consumer debt important?

Debt influences the Consumer Sentiment Index, which is an important indicator assessing the state of the U.S. economy. The housing market is also seen a bellwether of the economic conditions in the country. The housing industry employs a large number of people, and mortgages are large investments that consumers will pay off over the course of years, sometimes decades. Because of this, financial analysts closely watch consumer debt and its effects on the home purchase outlook.

Attitudes towards debt

Consumer perception of debt differs, depending on the kind of debt in question. While most see a home mortgage as a positive investment, they increasingly look at student loan debt as a negative debt. With education costs increasing, people in the United States are incurring more student loan debt. Credit card debt also has negative connotations.

Value of debt owned by consumers in the United States as of September 2019, by type

Value in trillion U.S. dollars
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Release date

December 2019


United States

Survey time period

Sept 19-23, 2019

Number of respondents

2,076 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online survey

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Statistics on "Personal debt in the United States"

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