If you’re still paying off your holiday splurges, you’re not alone. Americans took on an average of $1,325 in debt during the just-finished holiday season—up 8% from last year—with 57% of those taking on debt even though they didn’t plan to.
For the 15% of consumers who are only making the minimum payment, that balance could take as much as a decade to pay off. But it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the almost $900 billion total tab Americans carry on credit cards and other forms of revolving debt.
We may be a nation in debt, but we are a nation responsibly in debt. The average FICO score among Americans hit an all-time high in 2019 of 704—mainly thanks to rising scores among millennials—according to a study by Experian.
Among states, the credit bureau found that Minnesotans had the highest credit scores in 2019 (for the eighth year running), while Louisiana had the lowest.
Although retail companies have yet to report their fourth-quarter results (which can be an important economic indicator), Target issued a press release yesterday noting that its retail sales were lackluster—up only 1.4% over 2018, compared with 5.7% the year before. Wal-Mart and Amazon shares fell yesterday in sympathy.
In particular, Target noted that its sales of toys and electronics were disappointing. But a notable bright spot were beauty products (thank you #selfcare), where sales were up 7%.