Credit Card QoD: How much does the average household with credit card debt pay in interest cost annually?

Jan 05, 2020
Question of the Day, Credit Cards, Research

Holiday shopping can sometimes mean credit card debt, so this question takes a look at the annual interest cost a family pays when they carry a balance on their credit card. 

Answer: $1,505

Methodology: Average household credit card debt of $8,707 (WalletHub analysis) multiplied by an average credit card interest rate of 17.30% (


  • Why do you think that so many Americans have credit card debt, meaning they don’t pay the full balance on their credit card statements every month?
  • Does the interest rate on credit card debt seem high or low to you?
  • What ideas do you have on how you can avoid getting into credit card debt where you can't pay your full balance off every month?

Here's the ready-to-use slides for your classroom! 

Behind the numbers (WalletHub for average debt, for interest rate):

From WalletHub: 

From "The average credit card interest rate is 17.30%. Every week, evaluates the APRs, annual fees and promotional terms of 100 U.S. credit cards. The average APR on new credit card offers held steady this week, opening the year just shy of where it was 12 months ago."


This FinCap Friday (5-7 minute current events resource), Move Over Millennials, highlights Gen Z's borrowing trends including student loans and credit cards. 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.