Average Personal Loan Debt Amount in America 2022

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Last Update: January 19, 2022 Credit Cards Debt Loans Studies

Average Personal Loan Debt in America 2022: Statistics and Key Findings

National Statistics:

Americans’ average personal loan debt was $9,712 in November 2021 — an increase of 7% year-over-year (YoY).

The percentage of personal loan accounts in hardship programs decreased by 47% YoY in November 2021. As a result, many borrowers have resumed their regularly scheduled payments.

Americans’ total personal loan debt hit a new high of $156 billion in the third quarter of 2021 — an increase of 5% YoY and 3% from Q3 2019. Similarly, the average balance of newly issued personal loans was $7,168 in Q3 2021, increasing 20% YoY and 14% from Q3 2019.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed) latest Household Debt and Credit report shows that Americans’ “other” loans ($423 billion) increased by 1% YoY in the third quarter of 2021. However, the metric is still 0.5% below the level set in Q3 2019 ($425 billion) and 2% below the all-time high set in Q4 2019 ($432 billion).

By State:

The latest data from Experian shows that Americans’ average personal loan balances increased by 4% or more in 17 U.S. states. In addition, 27 states recorded an increase in their average personal loan balances, while 24 states recorded a decrease.

Borrowers in Washington ($28,366), Oregon ($27,165), and South Dakota ($25,174) have the highest average personal loan debt. In contrast, borrowers in the District of Columbia ($10,400), Hawaii ($12,562), and Georgia ($13,131) have the lowest average personal loan debt.

Borrowers in Kentucky (11%), Nebraska (11%), and Nevada (8%) recorded the highest YoY percentage increases in their average personal loan debt. In comparison, borrowers in the District of Columbia (-20%), New Jersey (-10%), and Vermont (-9%) recorded the highest YoY percentage decreases.

By Median Monthly Loan Payment:

Personal loan borrowers in Alaska ($371), Hawaii ($320), and Massachusetts ($304) had the highest median one-month Aggregate Excess Payment (AEP) in November 2021. Conversely, personal loan borrowers in Oklahoma ($53), Mississippi ($60), and Alabama ($71) had the lowest median one-month AEP.

Alaska also recorded the highest YoY percentage increase in its median one-month AEP (51%) in November 2021, while Delaware (32%) and North Dakota (27%) ranked second and third, respectively. In contrast, Arkansas (-19%), Wyoming (-12%), and Vermont (-8%) recorded the highest YoY percentage decreases in their median one-month AEP.

The national median one-month AEP across all states was $152 in November 2021 — an increase of 11% YoY.

By Generation:

Generation X ($17,733) has the highest average personal loan debt, while Generation Z ($6,004) has the lowest average personal loan debt. However, Generation Z saw its average personal loan debt balance increase by 33% YoY in 2020, while the silent generation kept its average balance relatively constant.

By Credit Score:

Super-prime borrowers have $13,708 in average personal loan debt. However, their average balance only increased by 3% YoY in November 2021. Conversely, near-prime borrowers have $7,793 in average personal loan debt — the second-lowest among credit cohorts — and their average balance increased by 14% YoY in November 2021.

By Age:

Americans aged 50 to 59 ($108 billion) have the highest amount of consumer and retail loans across all age groups. Conversely, Americans aged 18 to 29 ($30 billion) have the lowest.

As a percentage of their overall debt, Americans 70+ have 3.54% of their total debt allocated to consumer and retail loans — the highest percentage across all age groups. Conversely, Americans aged 30 to 39 only have 2.18% of their total debt allocated to consumer and retail loans — the lowest percentage across all age groups.

Personal Loan Delinquency Rates:

TransUnion revealed that the percentage of personal loans 90+ days past due (DPD) declined from a high of 2.40% in Q3 2018 to a low of 1.52% in Q3 2021.

The Fed revealed that 90+ day delinquency rates on consumer and retail loans have declined from 4.88% in Q3 2018 to 2.84% in Q3 2021.

The Fed’s 90+ day delinquency rates on “other” loans were more than 2x TransUnion’s 90+ day delinquency rates on personal loans in Q3 2018, Q3 2019, and Q3 2020. However, in Q3 2021, the multiple decreased to 1.87x.

Personal Loan Interest Rates:

The average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan was 9.39% in the third quarter of 2021 — 13% below Q1 2010 (10.83%) and 8% below Q4 2019 (10.21%).

Average Personal Loan Debt in America 2022: Charts, Graph, Analysis

Average Personal Loan Debt in America

While generous fiscal benefits decreased Americans’ appetite for credit card debt in 2021, personal loan debt has remained resilient. And while the CARES Act and private lenders offered Americans’ loan forbearance during the pandemic, TransUnion’s data shows that the percentage of personal loan accounts in hardship programs decreased by 47% YoY in November 2021.

As a result, many borrowers have resumed their regularly scheduled payments.

Category: November 2020: November 2021: Change:
Average personal loan debt $9,058 $9,712 7%
% of accounts in hardship programs 3.6% 1.9% -47%

Total Personal Loan Debt in America

TransUnion’s latest Credit Industry Insights Report shows that Americans’ total personal loan debt hit a new high of $156 billion in the third quarter of 2021 — an increase of 5% YoY and 3% from Q3 2019. Similarly, the average balance of newly issued personal loans was $7,168 in Q3 2021, increasing 20% YoY and 14% from Q3 2019.

However, still lagging their pre-pandemic levels, the number of outstanding personal loans in the U.S. (21.6 million) is still 4% below the high water mark set in Q3 2019. Likewise, the total number of personal loan borrowers in the U.S. (19.2 million) is still 5% below the high water mark set in Q3 2019.

As a result, with total U.S. personal loan debt rising faster than the number of borrowers, Americans’ average personal loan debt balance continues to increase.

Personal Loan Metric: Q3 2018: Q3 2019: Q3 2020: Q3 2021: Change:
Total personal loan debt $130B $152B $148B $156B 5%
# of unsecured personal loans 20.4M 22.5M 21.4M 21.6M 1%
# of consumers with loans 18.5M 20.2M 19.5M 19.2M -2%
Average balance of new loans $6,178 $6,292 $5,984 $7,168 20%

Slightly underperforming TransUnion’s findings, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (Fed) latest Household Debt and Credit report shows that Americans’ “other” loans increased by 1% YoY in the third quarter of 2021.

For context, when conducting its report, the Fed characterizes consumer (personal loans, sales financing) and retail loans (clothing, grocery store, gasoline, home decor, etc.) as “other” loans. However, their structures are often identical to personal loans. As a result, the data offers a window into the American personal loan market.

And interestingly, while other loans ($423 billion) increased by 1% YoY in Q3 2021, the metric is still 0.5% below the level set in Q3 2019 ($425 billion) and 2% below the all-time high set in Q4 2019 ($432 billion).

Also noteworthy, Americans’ other loan balances have increased by 17% since Q1 2010. And on a peak-to-trough basis, Americans’ other loan balances increased by 46% from the low set in Q2 2013 ($296 billion) to the high reached in Q4 2019 ($432 billion). In addition, Q2 2013 was the only quarter since 2010 where Americans’ other loan balances fell below $300 billion.

Period: Other Loans (Billions):
2010:Q1 $363
2010:Q2 $349
2010:Q3 $343
2010:Q4 $341
2011:Q1 $329
2011:Q2 $330
2011:Q3 $327
2011:Q4 $330
2012:Q1 $319
2012:Q2 $312
2012:Q3 $311
2012:Q4 $317
2013:Q1 $307
2013:Q2 $296
2013:Q3 $304
2013:Q4 $317
2014:Q1 $314
2014:Q2 $323
2014:Q3 $327
2014:Q4 $335
2015:Q1 $329
2015:Q2 $339
2015:Q3 $351
2015:Q4 $351
2016:Q1 $354
2016:Q2 $356
2016:Q3 $367
2016:Q4 $377
2017:Q1 $367
2017:Q2 $378
2017:Q3 $386
2017:Q4 $389
2018:Q1 $385
2018:Q2 $390
2018:Q3 $399
2018:Q4 $407
2019:Q1 $404
2019:Q2 $412
2019:Q3 $425
2019:Q4 $432
2020:Q1 $427
2020:Q2 $418
2020:Q3 $417
2020:Q4 $419
2021:Q1 $413
2021:Q2 $421
2021:Q3 $423

Average Personal Loan Debt by State

From a regional perspective, the latest data from Experian shows that Americans’ average personal loan balances increased by 4% or more in 17 U.S. states. In addition, 27 states recorded an increase in their average personal loan balances, while 24 states recorded a decrease.

Borrowers in Washington ($28,366), Oregon ($27,165), and South Dakota ($25,174) have the highest average personal loan debt. In contrast, borrowers in the District of Columbia ($10,400), Hawaii ($12,562), and Georgia ($13,131) have the lowest average personal loan debt.

In addition, borrowers in Kentucky (11%), Nebraska (11%), and Nevada (8%) recorded the highest YoY percentage increases in their average personal loan debt. In comparison, borrowers in the District of Columbia (-20%), New Jersey (-10%), and Vermont (-9%) recorded the highest YoY percentage decreases.

State: 2019: 2020: Change:
Alabama $13,749 $13,892 1%
Alaska $19,054 $19,188 1%
Arizona $19,030 $20,001 5%
Arkansas $20,662 $20,113 -3%
California $15,896 $16,790 6%
Colorado $21,187 $21,783 3%
Connecticut $15,153 $14,038 -7%
Delaware $15,723 $16,674 6%
District of Columbia $12,932 $10,400 -20%
Florida $18,035 $17,869 -1%
Georgia $13,557 $13,131 -3%
Hawaii $12,802 $12,562 -2%
Idaho $21,407 $22,553 5%
Illinois $13,499 $13,636 1%
Indiana $14,754 $15,314 4%
Iowa $17,779 $18,093 2%
Kansas $18,335 $18,887 3%
Kentucky $13,861 $15,402 11%
Louisiana $16,766 $17,266 3%
Maine $15,051 $16,025 7%
Maryland $15,441 $14,678 -5%
Massachusetts $14,851 $14,756 -1%
Michigan $15,471 $15,391 -1%
Minnesota $17,845 $17,692 -1%
Mississippi $15,030 $14,625 -3%
Missouri $15,171 $15,921 5%
Montana $24,108 $24,901 3%
Nebraska $16,543 $18,301 11%
Nevada $17,797 $19,189 8%
New Hampshire $18,147 $17,798 -2%
New Jersey $15,350 $13,879 -10%
New Mexico $16,907 $17,892 6%
New York $15,069 $14,383 -5%
North Carolina $16,402 $15,869 -3%
North Dakota $26,342 $24,808 -6%
Ohio $15,381 $15,293 -1%
Oklahoma $16,400 $17,066 4%
Oregon $26,122 $27,165 4%
Pennsylvania $14,958 $14,599 -2%
Rhode Island $14,488 $13,925 -4%
South Carolina $14,575 $15,272 5%
South Dakota $26,137 $25,174 -4%
Tennessee $15,400 $15,505 1%
Texas $14,565 $15,188 4%
Utah $17,920 $18,657 4%
Vermont $19,153 $17,503 -9%
Virginia $15,554 $14,822 -5%
Washington $27,188 $28,366 4%
West Virginia $17,442 $17,091 -2%
Wisconsin $17,404 $16,953 -3%
Wyoming $23,018 $24,435 6%

Median Monthly Personal Loan Payment by State

TransUnion uses its proprietary Aggregate Excess Payment (AEP) metric to augment its analysis of Americans’ credit scores. In a nutshell: AEP measures how much consumers in each state pay above or below their minimum personal loan payments.

For context, if borrowers make payments above their minimums due, their AEP increases. Conversely, if borrowers make payments below their minimums due, their AEP decreases. And right in the middle, if borrowers make their minimum payments, their AEP stays constant.

To that point, TransUnion found that personal loan borrowers in Alaska ($371), Hawaii ($320), and Massachusetts ($304) had the highest median one-month AEP in November 2021. Conversely, personal loan borrowers in Oklahoma ($53), Mississippi ($60), and Alabama ($71) had the lowest median one-month AEP.

Interestingly, Alaska also recorded the highest YoY percentage increase in its median one-month AEP (51%) in November 2021, while Delaware (32%) and North Dakota (27%) ranked second and third, respectively. In contrast, Arkansas (-19%), Wyoming (-12%), and Vermont (-8%) recorded the highest YoY percentage decreases in their median one-month AEP.

For context, the national median one-month AEP across all states was $152 in November 2021 — an increase of 11% YoY.

State: November 2020: November 2021: Change:
Alaska $245 $371 51%
Alabama $63 $71 13%
Arkansas $126 $102 -19%
Arizona $148 $183 24%
California $138 $169 22%
Colorado $240 $272 13%
Connecticut $256 $276 8%
District of Columbia $223 $225 1%
Delaware $162 $214 32%
Florida $184 $206 12%
Georgia $124 $127 2%
Hawaii $255 $320 25%
Iowa $148 $160 8%
Idaho $159 $175 10%
Illinois $123 $140 14%
Indiana $130 $146 12%
Kansas $141 $149 6%
Kentucky $96 $107 11%
Louisiana $74 $84 14%
Massachusetts $273 $304 11%
Maryland $228 $245 7%
Maine $141 $175 24%
Michigan $181 $176 -3%
Minnesota $266 $275 3%
Missouri $90 $100 11%
Mississippi $50 $60 20%
Montana $158 $181 15%
North Carolina $138 $159 15%
North Dakota $187 $237 27%
Nebraska $169 $177 5%
New Hampshire $220 $246 12%
New Jersey $257 $277 8%
New Mexico $78 $75 -4%
Nevada $146 $174 19%
New York $203 $219 8%
Ohio $161 $176 9%
Oklahoma $55 $53 -4%
Oregon $170 $178 5%
Pennsylvania $174 $194 11%
Rhode Island $204 $254 25%
South Carolina $76 $79 4%
South Dakota $169 $176 4%
Tennessee $82 $96 17%
Texas $65 $74 14%
Utah $212 $251 18%
Virginia $188 $197 5%
Vermont $192 $177 -8%
Washington $208 $225 8%
Wisconsin $183 $187 2%
West Virginia $102 $104 2%
Wyoming $192 $169 -12%
All States $137 $152 11%

Average Personal Loan Debt By Generation

Data from Experian also shows that Generation X ($17,733) has the highest average personal loan debt, while Generation Z ($6,004) has the lowest average personal loan debt.

However, Generation Z saw its average personal loan debt balance increase by 33% YoY in 2020, while the silent generation kept its average balance relatively constant.

Generation: 2019: 2020: Change:
Generation Z (18-23) $4,526 $6,004 +33%
Millennials (24-39) $11,819 $12,306 +4%
Generation X (40-55) $17,175 $17,733 +3%
Baby boomers (56-74) $19,253 $19,700 +2%
Silent generation (75+) $17,112 $17,123 +0%

Average Personal Loan Debt By Credit Score

Across credit score ranges, borrowers with the highest personal loan debt saw their balances increase by the least in November 2021.

For example, super-prime borrowers have $13,708 in average personal loan debt. However, their average balance only increased by 3% YoY in November 2021. Conversely, near-prime borrowers have $7,793 in average personal loan debt — the second-lowest among credit cohorts — and their average balance increased by 14% YoY in November 2021.

Moreover, while credit access is relatively limited for subprime borrowers, their average personal loan debt increased by 10% YoY in November 2021.

TransUnion Risk Score: November 2020: November 2021: Change:
Super prime (781–850) $13,294 $13,708 3%
Prime plus (721–780) $12,320 $13,442 9%
Prime (661–720) $9,745 $10,805 11%
Near prime (601–660) $6,832 $7,793 14%
Subprime (300–600) $4,169 $4,574 10%

Total Personal Loan Debt by Age

Decomposing the Fed’s “other” loans category by age, we found that Americans aged 50 to 59 ($108 billion) have the highest amount of consumer and retail loans across all age groups. Conversely, Americans aged 18 to 29 ($30 billion) have the lowest.

However, as a percentage of their overall debt, Americans aged 70 or older own the top spot. For example, Americans 70+ have 3.54% of their total debt allocated to consumer and retail loans — the highest percentage across all age groups. Conversely, Americans aged 30 to 39 only have 2.18% of their total debt allocated to consumer and retail loans — the lowest percentage across all age groups.

Type (Billions): 18-29: 30-39: 40-49: 50-59: 60-69: 70+:
Other loans $30 $72 $95 $108 $73 $45
Total debt $1,112 $3,305 $3,819 $3,450 $2,274 $1,270

Average Personal Loan Delinquency Rates

With TransUnion and the Fed presenting slightly conflicting data, we felt it necessary to deliver both sides. For example, while both data sets show a declining trend in loans 90+ days past due (DPD), TransUnion revealed a much smaller percentage of Americans defaulted on personal loans in November 2021.

For context, the percentage of personal loans 90+ DPD declined from a high of 2.40% in Q3 2018 to a low of 1.52% in Q3 2021.

TransUnion Delinquency Rates: Q3 2018: Q3 2019: Q3 2020: Q3 2021:
Delinquency rate (90+ DPD) 2.40% 2.21% 1.74% 1.52%
Delinquency rate (60+ DPD) 3.44% 3.30% 2.55% 2.52%

Conversely, the Fed’s data shows that Americans default on their consumer and retail loans at nearly twice the pace. For example, the Fed’s 90+ day delinquency rates on “other” loans were more than 2x TransUnion’s 90+ day delinquency rates on personal loans in Q3 2018, Q3 2019, and Q3 2020. However, in Q3 2021, the multiple decreased to 1.87x.

All in all, 90+ day delinquency rates on consumer and retail loans have declined from 4.88% in Q3 2018 to 2.84% in Q3 2021.

Fed Delinquency Rates: Q3 2018: Q3 2019: Q3 2020: Q3 2021:
Delinquency rate (90+ DPD) 4.88% 4.67% 4.14% 2.84%
Delinquency Rate (30+ DPD) 7.23% 7.18% 6.53% 4.39%

Average Personal Loan Interest Rates

Reaching a roughly 12-year peak at 11.37% in the second quarter of 2011, the latest data from the Fed shows that the average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan was 9.39% in the third quarter of 2021. For context, the metric tallies the average interest rate charged by commercial banks in the United States.

What’s more, the average interest rate recorded a peak-to-trough decline of 19% when it fell from 11.37% in Q2 2021 to 9.26% in Q3 2020. In addition, the average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan is now 13% below Q1 2010 (10.83%) and 8% below Q4 2019 (10.21%).

Period: U.S. Commercial Banks’ Average Interest Rate on 24-Month Personal Loan:
2010:Q1 10.83%
2010:Q2 11.00%
2010:Q3 10.71%
2010:Q4 10.94%
2011:Q1 10.98%
2011:Q2 11.37%
2011:Q3 10.80%
2011:Q4 10.36%
2012:Q1 10.89%
2012:Q2 10.94%
2012:Q3 10.37%
2012:Q4 10.64%
2013:Q1 10.12%
2013:Q2 10.34%
2013:Q3 10.13%
2013:Q4 10.22%
2014:Q1 10.09%
2014:Q2 9.62%
2014:Q3 10.73%
2014:Q4 10.47%
2015:Q1 9.85%
2015:Q2 9.69%
2015:Q3 9.80%
2015:Q4 9.66%
2016:Q1 10.03%
2016:Q2 9.65%
2016:Q3 9.64%
2016:Q4 9.45%
2017:Q1 10.05%
2017:Q2 10.13%
2017:Q3 9.76%
2017:Q4 10.57%
2018:Q1 10.22%
2018:Q2 10.31%
2018:Q3 10.08%
2018:Q4 10.65%
2019:Q1 10.36%
2019:Q2 10.63%
2019:Q3 10.07%
2019:Q4 10.21%
2020:Q1 9.63%
2020:Q2 9.50%
2020:Q3 9.26%
2020:Q4 9.65%
2021:Q1 9.46%
2021:Q2 9.58%
2021:Q3 9.39%

How We Conducted The Study

ElitePersonalFinance always has up-to-date studies.

Our goal is to consolidate the information and present the findings in a way that’s easy to understand by parsing through the latest data from reliable sources. If you enjoyed the study, please provide your feedback. Moreover, if there is anything that we missed or anything that you believe needs updating, please let us know, and we will respond promptly.

Conclusion

Since personal loans are a better alternative to payday loans, they should be your first choice when considering short-term financing. As you can see, the average interest rate of 9.39% on a 24-month personal loan is much lower than both a payday loan and a credit card loan. And while the Fed will likely hike interest rates in 2022, a personal loan should still be the most affordable option.

Moreover, with near-prime borrowers (TransUnion Risk Score of 601–660) recording the highest YoY percentage increase (14%) in their average personal loan balance in November 2021, the data implies that lenders have become less discriminatory of borrowers with lower credit scores.

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