You’re probably going to die with some debt to your name. Most people do. In fact, 73 percent of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead, according to December 2016 data provided to Credit.com by credit bureau Experian. Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Excluding home loans, the average balance was $12,875.
The data is based on Experian’s FileOne database, which includes 220 million consumers. (There are about 242 million adults in the U.S., according to 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau.) To determine the average debt people have when they die, Experian looked at consumers who, as of October 2016, were not deceased, but then showed as deceased as of December 2016. Among the 73 percent of consumers who had debt when they died, about 68 percent had credit card balances. The next most common kind of debt was mortgage debt (37 percent), followed by auto loans (25 percent), personal loans (12 percent) and student loans (6 percent).
These were the average unpaid balances: credit cards, $4,531; auto loans, $17,111; personal loans, $14,793; and student loans, $25,391.
For the most part, your debt dies with you, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect the people you leave behind.