• Report: Here are the cities with the most credit card debt

    By: Craig Johnson


    Most people do all they can to pay their bills on time and be good stewards of their financial lives, but even with the best-made plans, setbacks sometimes occur. So it is with credit card debt, which, as we’ve written recently, is at an all-time high.

    But what does this debt look like across some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas? Are there some regions prone to higher credit card balances?  A recent survey by CreditCards.com lists the cities with the highest debt burden.

    The numbers, which come from credit report data accumulated throughout 2017 by Experian, show a number of things, including that “some segments of the demographic do tend to hold higher debt levels than others,” Robert A. Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank, is quoted as saying. “There are historical and cultural reasons for that.”

    Here are the U.S. cities with the highest credit card balances

    The data looked at four key areas involving credit card debt. The analysis shows that a city such as Detroit, which came in at #17 in highest incomes, was #2 among metro areas with the lowest credit card balance ($5,889). Motown also was #4 in the amount of interest paid.

    San Antonio came in dead last in the amount of time it takes its residents to pay off credit card debt on average: 22 months. And Texas had three of the five most debt-laden cities on the list, the result of a youthful population and “energy downturn,” the report said.

    Here are the 25 metropolitan areas with the most credit card debt:

    Metropolitan Area
    Average credit card debt  
    Months to pay off balance
    Washington D.C. $7,442 14
    Dallas-Fort Worth $7,171 19
    New York $7,145 17
    Houston $7,121 20
    San Antonio $7,070 22
    Baltimore $6,985 15
    Atlanta $6,907 19
    San Diego $6,848 19
    Seattle-Tacoma $6,729 15
    Denver $6,720 16
    Philadelphia $6,693 16
    Chicago $6,649 17
    Los Angeles $6,632 20
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale $6,615 21
    San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose $6,533 13
    Boston $6,455 14
    Phoenix $6,422 18
    Charlotte $6,296 18
    Tampa-St. Petersburg $6,204 18
    St. Louis $6,203 17
    Portland, OR $6,120 17
    Minneapolis-St. Paul $6,036 14
    Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne $5,984 19
    Detroit $5,889 17
    Riverside-San Bernadino $5,829 19

    One thing that stands out in the numbers is that each city has a specific characteristic that explains its place on the list, from higher incomes to older demographics and economies. The best way to not become a statistic though is to come up with a plan to get out of debt.

    Money expert Clark Howard and team have devised a way to help you get your finances back in the black. A new Facebook group called Clark Your Debt has been set up to give you the encouragement and motivation you need to tackle those high balances.

    When you sign up, you’ll join more than 3,000 others (and counting!) who are taking control of their financial lives and sharing what they know. Your pocketbook will thank you!

    RELATED: Here’s how much you need to make to live comfortably in your state

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