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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by dave, May 20, 2001.
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Possibly because the average balance is a true "snapshot in time" and although you think of average debt as a snapshot it is really continuous.
For instance, you may pay off the $7000 balance at some date X...maybe you pay off part of it on X and some on Y maybe you pay all of it on X. Your balance may be taken at some date and you are reading an average of those balances.
In contrast your debt level is an average of the debt you hold across say 1 year...you are reading an average of $5000 of that average debt level.
Not saying that is the answer, but one possible reason for the discrepancy in averages.
For reference purposes, here are the two facts in question:
The average balance on a credit card in the US is $7,000.
The average debt for credit-card holders who carry balances has risen by about one-third in five years, from $4,230 in 1995 to $5,610 in 2000.
We think Nave's explanation hits the mark.