> Mortgage debt per person: $196,911
> Median household income: $51,001 (19th highest)
> Credit card debt per person: $6,145 (7th lowest)
> Change in home value (2006 – 2010): -44.5% (biggest decline)
No state had a more dramatic downfall in its housing market during the recession than Nevada. In 2006, nearly 40,000 building permits were approved in the state, a nation-high average of 15.8 per 1,000 people. By 2010, the number of permits declined 80% and median home values dropped 44.5%. This has left thousands of homeowners with underwater mortgages. According to Credit Karma, Nevada residents owe an average of $196,911 on their mortgages. But unlike residents of most of the other states with high debt, many Nevada residents are not affluent enough to shoulder this burden. The state has the highest unemployment rate in the country, 13%, and a median income that is only 19th highest in the U.S.
> Mortgage debt per person: $198,117
> Median household income: $54,046 (15th highest)
> Credit card debt per person: $7,533 (5th highest)
> Change in home value (2006 – 2010): +1.6% (31st smallest increase)
Colorado’s average mortgage debt of just under $200,000 is the ninth-highest in the country. The state’s average credit card debt of $7,533 per person is the fifth-highest. Residents, however, have been able to pay some of these massive debts on time, as Coloradans also boast one of the best average credit scores in the country. However, it had the 12th-highest foreclosure rate in the country in December. While not as wealthy as some of the other states with extremely high personal debt, Colorado is certainly better off than Nevada. Poverty and unemployment are both quite low in the state.
> Mortgage debt per person: $211,516
> Median household income: $64,032 (4th highest)
> Credit card debt per person: $7,730 (3rd highest)
> Change in home value (2006 – 2010): -3.4% (13th biggest decline)
In 2006, Connecticut had the second fewest building permits per person issued, behind only Rhode Island. This suggests that fewer people were buying homes they could not afford at the height of the housing bubble. Indeed, just one in every 1,145 homes were foreclosed on in the state in December, a much lower figure compared to states such as Nevada and California, where the foreclosure rates in December were 1 in 177 and 1 in 254, respectively. Along with the eighth-highest mortgage debt per person in the country, Connecticut also ranks third-highest both in credit card debt and student debt. Nevertheless, the average resident’s credit score is the ninth-highest in the country, meaning state residents can pay off their debts. Connecticut has the fifth-lowest poverty rate in the country, and the fourth-highest median income.
> Mortgage debt per person: $221,873
> Median household income: $60,674 (8th highest)
> Credit card debt per person: $7,298 (9th highest)
> Change in home value (2006 – 2010): +2% (21st biggest increase)
The average Virginia resident has $221,516 in mortgage debt, the seventh-greatest amount of the debt in the country. This does not include the additional $50,000 in debt the average resident has accumulated between their credit cards, car payments and student loans. However, the average household makes more than $60,000 per year, the eighth-most in the country, and so, to a certain extent, Virginians are able to afford their IOUs. The average credit score in the state of 670 is the tenth-best in the country.
> Mortgage debt per person: $224,661
> Median household income: $62,072 (6th highest)
> Credit card debt per person: $6,851 (16th highest)
> Change in home value (2006 – 2010): -9.8% (8th biggest decline)
Massachusetts has the fifth-highest median home value of $334,100, which explains why the average resident owes nearly $225,000 in mortgage payments. But with the state boasting the sixth-highest median income and ninth-lowest poverty, residents are generally able to pay off their debts. While the number of new building projects has not declined as much as the rest of the country, home values still declined nearly 10% between 2006 and 2010. This decline affected some homeowners, demonstrated by the fact that the state had the 20th-highest foreclosure rate in the country last year.