Americans Carry an Average Debt Load That Impedes Retirement Savings

However, they report they have more in savings than in credit card debt.

Americans carry an average debt load of $140,113, found in a survey. Yet, 64% of Americans say they have more saved than they have as revolving debt on their credit card. cautions that this should be taken in context, as an earlier survey the website conducted found that over half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Bruce McClary, vice president of communications for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says he is leery of GoBankingRates’ latest findings. “I would be surprised that more Americans are indicating that their savings exceed their revolving charge balances. We have found, through our own surveys and internal data, that a growing portion of the population is carrying larger credit card balances while not making progress with their savings.”

Neal Frankle, founder of credit repair website Credit Pilgrim, adds that if a person with $1,000 or less in his savings account were to miss a paycheck or face an unexpected expense, his debt would immediately surpass his savings. In his blog on earlier this year, Frankle warned that debt could be a serious burden to those in retirement, potentially forcing many people to re-enter the work force.

The survey found that the most common form of debt people carry is a mortgage, reported by 65% of respondents, whose balance, on average, is between $150,000 and $200,000. Credit card debt is the second most common debt, reported by 50% of respondents, who said their balances are less than $500. Auto loans are the third most common, reported by 32% of respondents, who say their balances are less than $1,000.

Student loan debt is the fourth most common debt, reported by 25% of respondents, who also say their student loan balances average less than $1,000.