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America’s credit card debt is the highest it has ever been, surpassing $ 1 trillion in 2017, according to Federal Reserve The data. But where in the United States is this debt most concentrated?
A new analysis by CreditCards.com identifies cities where people struggle with the highest average credit card debt. The study only looked at the 25 most populous metropolitan areas and ranked them accordingly.
The Washington, DC, Dallas-Fort Worth, and New York metropolitan areas have the highest average debt in absolute terms.
But Washington, DC, ranks among the lowest in terms of credit card charge. This is because he has the highest median income on the list.
The survey calculated which cities feel the heaviest debt burden based on average debt compared to median income.
This analysis estimated how long it would take a person earning the median income in their metropolitan area to pay off their average credit card debt. This assumes that he or she is allocating 15% of his or her gross monthly income to pay off debt, which CreditCards.com recommends.
The calculation also identifies how much interest it would pay during that time, based on the average annual percentage rate of 13%, according to the Fed’s January 2018 consumer credit report.
Metro San Antonio was the most indebted, followed by Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, then Houston.
The highest credit card debt burden
- San Antonio (22 months, $ 911 interest)
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (21 months, $ 814 interest)
- Houston (20 months, $ 799 interest)
- Los Angeles (20 months, $ 745 interest)
- Dallas (19 months, $ 801 interest)
The lowest credit card debt burden
- Seattle (15 months, $ 577 interest)
- Washington, DC (14 months, $ 613 interest)
- Boston (14 months, $ 524 interest)
- Minneapolis (14 months, $ 493 interest)
- San Francisco (13 months, $ 495 interest)
2018 is a pivotal year for eliminating credit card debt, said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com. This is because debt will only get more expensive as interest rates continue to rise. He sees defaults continuing to rise this year as debt and interest rates rise.
“What’s troubling is that when people go into debt during a good economic time, it makes them less likely to put money aside when times turn bad,” Schulz said.
The economy is fine now, but when it turns, “you could have a lot of people who could be in trouble,” Schulz said.