Chicago-based community development research and advocacy organization Woodstock Institute
is reporting American household debt rose from 71 percent of disposable
household income to 126 percent between 1979 and 2005. Other findings
— -Homeowners' equity in their
homes declined from 67 percent of their homes' value to 57 percent
between 1979 and 2004 despite rising home values that would add to an
— -Self-reported credit
card debt data show that between 1989 and 2004 credit card debt, in
inflation adjusted dollars, doubled.
-Credit card industry data show that the mean household credit card
debt for families with at least one credit card exceeds $9,000. Since
40 percent of families pay their credit card bills in full every month,
families who carry balances have average balances considerably in
excess of $9,000.