Survey: The average American has $25,571 in student debt

Car and home loans were also quite common sources of debt, affecting 55% and 31% of respondents respectively, and 30% reported having student loans as well.

Research has found that Americans spend 22% of their monthly income treating themselves, but recent data from Comet shows that deciding on “a significant purchase” takes an average of 134 days. Additionally, 85% of people surveyed owe money on something they bought in the past.

But while 41.2% surveyed reported being “delinquent” paying off a bill for medical care, 23.6% have been in this state for a student loan, 18.7% have for a credit card, and 13.4% have when paying off a home.

In terms of how the research was carried out, the company used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to poll 1,007 Americans with debt. They were between ages 18 and 82.

How much Americans owe, on average

  • “House:” $147,910
  • “Student loan:” $27,571
  • “Car:” $11,283
  • “Credit card:” $5,910
  • “Medical bill:” $3,895
  • “Smartphone:” $358

How many people are in debt for various items

Here are the overall percentages of those surveyed who are in debt because of different items:

  • “Credit card:” 64.8%
  • “Car:” 55.4%
  • “House:” 31.0%
  • “Student loan:” 30.1%
  • “Medical bill:” 26.6%
  • “Smartphone:” 25.1%
  • “Computer:” 11.8%
  • “Furniture:” 10.6%
  • “Home improvement project:” 8.6%
  • “Vacation:” 7.6%

Here are the top things that Americans polled said they’d be “willing to finance:”

  • “House:” 93.8% (95.0% of women, 92.7% of men)
  • “Medical bill:” 90.7% (91.8% of women, 89.6% of men)
  • “Car:” 89.5% (91.5% of women, 88.2% of men)
  • “Credit card:” 87.5% (89.5% of women, 87.5% of men)
  • “Home improvement project:” 86.1% (84.1% of women, 85.5% of men)

The most popular thing that people “regret requesting a payment plan” for is a “student loan,” with 44.8% of women and 46.4% of men saying so. The least popular response was a home, with a slim 3.8% of women and 10.3% of men saying they feel this way.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at