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Here’s how much debt the average U.S. household owes

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve.

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve. | Adobe Stock Photo

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve.

Yet the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income was just $59,039, suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their means.

Here’s how much debt the average U.S. household owes in credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.

Those numbers are unlikely to shrink anytime soon, according to NerdWallet. That’s because the cost of living in the U.S. rose 30 percent over the past 13 years, yet household incomes only grew 28 percent. As a result, more Americans are using credit cards to cover basic needs like food and clothing.

Medical expenses have grown 57 percent since 2003, while food and housing costs climbed 36 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Those surging basic expenses could widen the inequality gap in America, as a quarter of Americans make less than $10 per hour.

On the bright side, education costs rose 26 percent during that period, and growth in student loan balances has slowed, so the picture could be improving for financially disciplined Millennials.