By the Numbers: Debt in America

70 million

Number of Americans with at least some debt in collections

1 in 3

Number of Americans with a credit record that had been contacted about a debt at least once during the last year

$11.5 billion

Annual revenue in the debt collection industry


Time in seconds that a collections attorney for the firm of Pressler & Pressler took to review collections complaints before filing them

$1 million

Amount that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Pressler & Pressler for its filing practices

$13.86 trillion

Amount of consumer debt in the United States today – an all-time high and $1.2 trillion higher than in 2008


Percentage of Americans who are unable to cover a surprise $400 expense


Average credit card debt for American households
Sources: Urban Institute,, GQ