In 2004 Americans owed 108% of their income

Americans’ debt rose to a median 108% of income in 2004, up from 78% of income in 2001, with middle-income people facing the steepest rise, to a median 114% of income from 80% in 2001, according to Federal Reserve Board. Middle-income families felt squeezed more than most, devoting a median 20% of their income to debt payments in 2004, even at a time of low interest rates, up from 18% in 2001. U.S. households overall spent a median 18.3% of income on debt payments in 2004, up from 16.9% in 2001. 13.7% of households faced debt payments greater than 40% percent of their income in 2004, up from 12.8% in 2001.