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10 States Where People Struggle Most With Credit Card Debt

Woman deep in credit card debt
Kmpzzz / Shutterstock.com

Credit card debt is soaring from coast to coast. In the fourth quarter of 2023, credit card balances ballooned to $1.13 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Borrowers in some states are faring worse than in others. Recently, finance website Bankrate identified the states with the highest credit card debt relative to the average income, which Bankrate refers to as the state’s “debt burden.”

In its findings, Bankrate looked at each state’s average credit card balance and average household income. Bankrate also assumed that 5% of average monthly income goes toward credit card payments and that cards have an APR of 20.74%, which is the national average for more than 100 popular cards as of February 2024.

With that methodology in mind, here are the states where people struggle most with credit card debt.

10. Alaska

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $7,316

Average annual household income as of 2022: $109,524

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $456

Months to pay off credit card debt: 19

Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the U.S. combined. Alaska’s population density — one person per square mile — is equivalent to 16 people living on the island of Manhattan.

9. Alabama

LMspencer / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,571

Average annual household income as of 2022: $82,956

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $346

Months to pay off credit card debt: 20

Some Alabama residents take life at a very leisurely pace: More than 40% of all the snails in the U.S. can be found slow-poking their way across the Yellowhammer State.

8. Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Rachael Martin / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,366

Average annual household income as of 2022: $76,853

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $320

Months to pay off credit card debt: 20

When you visit Arkansas, be sure to pronounce the state’s name as “Ar-kan-saw.” It doesn’t rhyme with “Kansas,” and there is no “s” at the end.

If you mispronounce it, you are technically breaking the law: It is illegal in the state to do so, although there is no penalty for the offense.

7. New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico
VentureD / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,586

Average annual household income as of 2022: $82,382

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $343

Months to pay off credit card debt: 20

If you plan to travel through New Mexico, prepare for a few bumps along the way: About 75% of the roads in the state are unpaved. The state’s size and sparse population make paving more roads expensive and impractical.

6. Wyoming

Horses in the fields of Grand Teton National Park
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $6,114

Average annual household income as of 2022: $90,018

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $375

Months to pay off credit card debt: 20

Back in 1869, Wyoming was the first state in the union to grant women the right to vote. That is how it got its nickname: The Equality State. Wyoming also elected the first female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, in 1925.

5. Nevada

Las Vegas Skyline
littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $6,710

Average annual household income as of 2022: $98,422

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $410

Months to pay off credit card debt: 20

Nevada‘s nickname — the Silver State — could be considered a bit of a misnomer. In truth, Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the U.S. and one of the top sources of that precious metal in the world.

Having said that, the largest silver deposit in the U.S. — the Comstock Lode — was discovered in Nevada in 1859.

4. West Virginia

Bridge over New River in West Virginia
Mark Ross / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,333

Average annual household income as of 2022: $75,265

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $314

Months to pay off credit card debt: 21

West Virginia is one of the most heavily forested states in the nation. In addition, it is the only state completely within the Appalachian Mountain range.

3. Oklahoma

RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,862

Average annual household income as of 2022: $82,741

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $345

Months to pay off credit card debt: 21

Oklahoma has a surprising 11,611 miles of shoreline. Much of that is the result of man-made lakes: Its 200 bodies of such waters is tops in the nation.

2. Mississippi

Biloxi, Mississippi, fire fighting boat
Terry Kelly / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,332

Average annual household income as of 2022: $72,624

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $303

Months to pay off credit card debt: 22

Mississippi is no stranger to severe weather. In the 70 years from 1950 to 2020, a total of 2,339 tornadoes raced across the state. That is an average of more than 33 per year.

1. Louisiana

Louisiana musicians
GTS Productions / Shutterstock.com

Average credit card balance as of November 2023: $5,796

Average annual household income as of 2022: $79,175

Monthly credit card payment (5% of monthly household income): $330

Months to pay off credit card debt: 22

Every state in the U.S. has “counties” — except Louisiana, which has “parishes.” The state also is home to the world’s largest bridge over a body of water: The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is about 24 miles long.

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