How much do you know about the average American's finances?


By: Bambi

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The media loves to focus on the one percent or the working poor, but have you ever wondered about the finances of the average American? Take our quiz to see if you know how much a typical American earns, owns and owes!

What is the median household income in the U.S., according to the 2015 Census?

The median household income is around $55,775 nationwide, but can vary dramatically by region. In high cost-of-living states like Washington or New York, median income hovers above $60,000. In Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, it's less than $45,000 annually.


Congratulations, Class of 2016! You're graduating with an average student loan total of how much?

Student loans have steadily increased over the years, and the class of 2016 carries an average debt of $37,172. Nationwide, 44 million students carry a total of $1.3 trillion in loans and counting.


How much credit card debt does the average American carry?

The average American carries just $3,600 in credit card debt. Not bad, right? It is when you consider that around 60 percent of Americans carry no credit card debt, so the average is actually MUCH higher among those that actually have a balance.


Among households that carry a balance on their credit cards, what's the average credit card debt?

Since 60 percent of Americans have no balance on their cards, households that do carry a balance owe an average of $16,048 -- an amount that rose around 10 percent from 2014 to 2016.


What's the average interest rate on a credit card?

The average credit card has an interest rate of 16.1 percent. With a typical $16,000 balance, that means you're paying $2,600 per year in interest alone. Ouch.


If you have $16,000 in credit card debt, how long will it take you to pay it off if you only make the minimum payment?

If you have a typical $16,000 balance at 16.1 percent, it'll take you 14 years to pay it off if you stick with the minimum payment. Even worse, you'll pay a total of $40,000, thanks to interest. And that's only if you don't use the card at all to rack up extra charges.


How much total debt does the average household owe?

When you add up mortgages, credit cards and other debts, the average American household is in the red to the tune of $90,000. Remember, though, that some households have no debt. Among households that do owe money, the average debt soars to $130,000.


What's the average credit score in America?

Believe it or not, the average credit score is a respectable 700 -- up from 695 in 2015. This depends on which credit score model is being used, however.


How many Americans have no delinquencies -- bad debts -- on their credit reports?

More than half of Americans, or 57 percent, have no negative items on their credit report. Among those that do have delinquencies, the average one is 17 months old.


How many open revolving accounts does the average person maintain?

The average person has six open accounts, such as six open credit cards, and uses only about 15 percent of all credit available to them.


What percentage of Americans owe money when they die?

A whopping 73 percent of Americans die in debt, and the average debtor owes $62,000 when they take their final breath.


What percentage of Americans have a credit score over 800?

Around 40 percent have a credit score over 750, and one in four scores over 800 -- making them eligible for the lowest interest rates and best terms when borrowing money.


What is the average mortgage debt in the U.S.?

The average mortgage debt is $172,806 -- but remember that number reflects people with million-dollar homes as well as those with no mortgage debt at all.


What is the median retirement savings in the U.S.?

The median amount of retirement savings is $5,000 for working families. The average retirement savings is $95,000. The difference between these two figures reflects the fact that super savers sock away a huge amount of money, while most people put away very little.


What percentage of Americans have no retirement savings at all?

About half of Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Among the lowest 20 percent of income earners, only one in ten has a retirement savings account. Among the top 20 percent of earners, nine out of ten have a retirement savings account.


What percentage of Americans have no savings at all?

About a third of Americans have no savings at all, leaving them vulnerable to emergencies of all kinds. Only about 28 percent have saved six months' worth of expenses.


What is the biggest financial emergency shock people should be prepared to face each year on average?

The Pew Institute estimates that the largest financial emergency most people will face each year will cost around $2,000. That means you should always keep that much in savings at a bare minimum.


What percentage of Americans take out a loan to buy a car?

Around two out of three Americans take a loan when purchasing a vehicle. Half secure financing from a bank or credit union, while the other half take a loan from the dealer -- often at a higher rate of interest.


After housing, what is the number-one source of debt for Americans?

Student loans are the second-largest source of debt in the U.S., followed by cars and credit cards.


What was the average household's net worth at the start of 2017?

To get net worth, you add up all of your assets and subtract your debts. For the average household, this works out to around $80,000.


What is the biggest asset most people have?

Home equity accounts for around one-third of all net worth in the U.S. Median home equity is around $81,000 per home.


After the home, what's the second-biggest asset most people own?

Retirement accounts make up the second and third largest assets for most people in the U.S. The median 401k is valued at $46,000, while the median IRA comes in at around $40,000.


How much does the average family spend on food each year?

The average household spends around $7,000 on food annually, with around $3,000 going to dining out and the rest to groceries.


How much does a typical American family spend on housing each year?

Average housing costs in the U.S. add up to $18,409 per year. That includes just short of $3,900 to utilities and another $1,800 to furniture and miscellaneous goods.


What is the average annual cost of health care per family?

The average household spends $4,342 on healthcare, which includes $2,977 in health insurance premiums. Of course, this doesn't include other types of insurance, like life, home and auto.


Which of these does the average family spend the most on each year in America?

Americans spend an average of $2,842 on entertainment, compared to $1,846 on clothes and just $1,315 on education.


What percentage of Americans actually have a budget?

Just about one-third of Americans actually have a budget to plan where their money will go, according to a Gallup poll. The people most likely to have a budget are those earning more than $75,000 per year.


What percentage of households live paycheck to paycheck?

Around half of American households live paycheck to paycheck. A third have less than $500 in the bank to cover an emergency.


What percentage of minimum wage workers have more than one job?

Fifty percent of people earning minimum wage have more than one job to cover expenses. A full 75 percent of those earning minimum wage are living paycheck to paycheck, compared to half of all Americans at all levels of income.


What percentage of Americans have no debt at all?

Just 25 percent of American households are completely debt free. Americans are an optimistic bunch, though, because just 12 percent of those surveyed believed they will still be in debt when they die.


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