Credit-card-wielding consumers have found that old habits die hard. That’s why it comes as no surprise that a recent study by credit reporting agency Equifax states that the U.S. is buried $790 billion deep in credit card debt. Broken down by city, here are the top 10 most credit card debt-ridden cities.
10. Winston-Salem, N.C.
On average, credit card debt per household is a robust $6,505. As the median household income is $42,869, the percent of annual income owed to credit card companies is 15.17 percent. Imagine what could have been accomplished with payday loans, rather than high-interest revolving debt that most people nurse along with monthly minimum payments.
9. Fayetteville, N.C.
One of four N.C. cities on this list, Fayetteville has 126,723 households that owe $6,519 per household on credit cards. A sizable percentage (15.34 percent) of median annual income – $42,506 – is paid in attempt to eliminate that credit card debt. With short term loans with a two-week maturity cycle, a great deal of interest debt could have been avoided.
8. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio/Penn.
Median income here is lower – $39,304 – but so is the average household credit card debt: $6,142. However, that’s still 15.63 percent of the annual income on credit card debt alone. That’s about $1.4 billion in total debt, citywide.
7. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.
The 170,817 households in the Pensacola area owe $6,649 each to credit card companies, 15.79 percent of the median household income, $42,106. With personal loans, there would have been no cycle of debt.
6. Asheville, N.C.
North Carolina has heavy anti-payday loan legislation in place, so the credit card debt comes as no shock. Households owe 16.12 percent of annual income.
5. El Paso, Texas
Average credit card debt is lower at $5,349. That’s still 16.15 percent of annual income in El Paso, though.
4. Duluth, Minn.
Median household income: $38,392
Percent owed on credit cards: 16.72 percent
3. Toledo, Ohio
Another state that makes payday lending impossible, Toledo households owe 16.72 percent of annual income on credit cards. If payday lenders were allowed to operate at market rate in Ohio, hitting that percentage would be nearly impossible.
2. Canton-Massillon, Ohio
Median income: $40,912
Percent owed: 17.23 percent
1. Wilmington, N.C.
Households earn $42,392, but owe 17.26 percent on credit cards.