Jan. 2, 2006 -- "World News Tonight's" special series "Credit Crunch" aims to help you get on the road to becoming debt free.
What follows are facts about credit cards and debt in the United States:
Five billion credit card solicitations are mailed each year nationwide. (Source: www.cardweb.com)
About 0.4 percent of the card offers are accepted. (Source: www.cardweb.com)
Each cardholder owns an average of seven credit cards -- three bank credit cards and four store or gas credit cards. (Source: www.cardweb.com)
Average household or individual debt (or both) is about $9,300 per household holding at least one credit card. (Source: www.cardweb.com)
According to the advocacy group Demos, the average balance among lower- and middle-income households is $8,650.
On average, consumers pay to credit card companies about 16 percent of all outstanding balances each month. This includes those who pay off all cards in full each month, as well as those who carry balances forward. (Source: www.cardweb.com)
Total credit card debt in the United States has reached about $665 billion on bank credit cards and about $105 billion on store or gas credit cards. According to the Fed's G19 release, the total is roughly $800 billion. (Sources: www.cardweb.com and the Federal Reserve)
The average interest rate for credit cards in the United States is 13.4 percent. (Source: www.bankrate.com)
Eighty percent of American households have at least one credit card. (Source: www.cardweb.com)