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Credit card debt rises with education

| Oct 22, 2020 | Debt |

Debt is not necessarily based on education. College-educated households are less likely to have credit card debt. But the amount of this debt is higher when these households hold it, according to a recent study by the Ascent.


The study covered the percentage of households which have any credit card debt and, secondly, the average amount of credit card debt held per household.

College-educated households fall in the middle among the percentage of households with any credit card debt. Households where the head did not graduate high school is least likely to have credit card debt and only 35 percent of these households carry a balance.

Forty-four percent of households with a high school diploma as head and 41 percent with a college diploma have this debt. Fifty-one percent of households whose head has a college degree have credit card debt.

Households with a college degree holder have larger debt averages. Their average credit card debt is $8,200 which is approximately twice the average of other households.

Heads of households with no high school diploma have the best average debt of $3,800. Those with a high school diploma head have an average balance of $4,600. A household whose head had some college but did not receive a degree have an average debt of $4,700.


Student loan debt is the most common reason that college diploma households have higher credit card debt. Large loan payments use up disposable income and these families rely on credit cards to make up the difference become income and spending.

Increased access to credit can also lead to higher credit card debt. Consumers with a bachelors or more advanced degree are more likely to earn more money which typically qualifies then for higher credit limits.

Finally, degree holders face more pressure to spend more money on luxury items as their income rises to improve their lifestyles. This puts higher income earners in situations where they spend more than they make.


Creating and staying within a budget helps keeps spending in line. Banks may also provide notification when you get close to spending limits in certain areas.

If you are already paying credit card debt, cutting costs and putting all your disposable income toward that debt is important. Paying these off faster helps saves credit card and interest fees which accumulate quickly.

An attorney can help provide you options to deal with credit card debt and ways to deal with debt collectors. Lawyers can also assist you with methods such as bankruptcy if this debt becomes insurmountable.