States With the Most Credit Card Debt

March 1, 2019 by Sam Stebbins

Source: SIphotography / Getty Images
Americans are more likely to pay with a credit card than with cash than ever before. With a credit card, consumers can buy now and pay later and earn rewards like cash back and travel points for meeting certain spending thresholds. While credit cards have obvious appeal, they can also be dangerous, as easy credit appears to be saddling a growing number of Americans with considerable debt.

According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owe a record $1.04 trillion in credit card debt — up from less than $854 billion five years ago. According to Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at research group creditcards.com, about 40% of Americans have enough income to pay off their balance — and do so in full every month. For them, a high credit card balance is not a problem.

For the remaining 60%, however, maintaining a high credit card balance can mean hundreds of dollars in interest payments a year and possibly a low credit score.

On average, Americans owe $6,354 on bank-issued credit cards. At the state level, average credit card debt per capita varies substantially. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average bank card balance from creditcards.com to identify the states with the most credit card debt.

Individuals with high credit card balances tend to have some common traits. “The more cards, the more income, typically the higher balances are going to show on your card,” Rossman said.

Indeed, states with higher debt tend to be home to higher-income residents and report more credit cards per person. These states also tend to have a higher overall cost of living, which drives up spending. However, high average average balances do not always translate to low average credit scores in these states. Mortgage payments can drive up total debt, as can student debt.

Average credit card debt per person by state come from creditcards.com and are as of 2017. The average number of credit cards and credit score are also as of 2017 and come from data research group Experian. Credit scores are based on VantageScore, range between 501 and 990. Scores below 630 are deemed poor, and scores above 721 are considered excellent. Cost of living estimates came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are as of 2016.

Methodology

Average credit card debt per person by state come from creditcards.com and are as of 2017. The average number of credit cards and credit score are also as of 2017 and come from data research group Experian. Credit scores are based on VantageScore, range between 501 and 990. Scores below 630 are deemed poor, and scores above 721 are considered excellent. Cost of living estimates came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are as of 2016.

Source: Chilkoot / Getty Images

1. Alaska
> Avg. credit card balance: $8,515
> Cost of living: 5.4% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 668
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

2. Connecticut
> Avg. credit card balance: $7,258
> Cost of living: 8.7% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 690
> Avg. number of cards: 3.2

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

3. Virginia
> Avg. credit card balance: $7,161
> Cost of living: 2.3% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 680
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

4. New Jersey
> Avg. credit card balance: $7,151
> Cost of living: 13.2% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 686
> Avg. number of cards: 3.5

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

5. Maryland
> Avg. credit card balance: $7,043
> Cost of living: 9.5% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 672
> Avg. number of cards: 3.2

Source: Eric Tessmer / Wikimedia Commons

6. Hawaii
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,981
> Cost of living: 18.4% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 693
> Avg. number of cards: 3.3

Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

7. Texas
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,902
> Cost of living: 3.1% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 656
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

8. Colorado
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,718
> Cost of living: 3% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 688
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

9. Georgia
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,675
> Cost of living: 7.9% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 654
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: Terabass / Wikimedia Commons

10. New York
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,671
> Cost of living: 15.6% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 688
> Avg. number of cards: 3.3

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11. Washington
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,592
> Cost of living: 5.5% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 693
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

12. New Hampshire
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,490
> Cost of living: 5.9% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 701
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

13. California
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,481
> Cost of living: 14.4% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 680
> Avg. number of cards: 3.2

Source: lhongfoto / Getty Images

14. Illinois
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,410
> Cost of living: 1.1% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 683
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

15. Nevada
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,401
> Cost of living: 2.6% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 655
> Avg. number of cards: 3.2

Source: Zereshk / Wikimedia Commons

16. Arizona
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,389
> Cost of living: 4.1% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 669
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

17. Florida
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,388
> Cost of living: 0.3% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 668
> Avg. number of cards: 3.2

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

18. Rhode Island
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,375
> Cost of living: 0.4% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 687
> Avg. number of cards: 3.3

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

19. Delaware
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,366
> Cost of living: 0.2% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 672
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

20. Massachusetts
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,327
> Cost of living: 7.8% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 699
> Avg. number of cards: 3.2

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

21. New Mexico
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,317
> Cost of living: 6.4% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 659
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: Majestic_Aerials / Getty Images

22. Oklahoma
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,296
> Cost of living: 11% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 656
> Avg. number of cards: 2.7

Source: undefined undefined / Getty Images

23. Wyoming
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,245
> Cost of living: 3.3% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 678
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

24. South Carolina
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,157
> Cost of living: 9.7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 657
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

25. Pennsylvania
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,146
> Cost of living: 1.6% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 687
> Avg. number of cards: 3.1

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

26. North Carolina
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,117
> Cost of living: 9.1% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 666
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: ricardoreitmeyer / Getty Images

27. Kansas
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,082
> Cost of living: 9.5% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 680
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: GregJK / Getty Images

28. Louisiana
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,074
> Cost of living: 9.6% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 650
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: 4nadia / Getty Images

29. Oregon
> Avg. credit card balance: $6,012
> Cost of living: 0.2% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 688
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

30. Tennessee
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,975
> Cost of living: 9.8% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 662
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

31. Alabama
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,961
> Cost of living: 13.4% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 654
> Avg. number of cards: 2.7

Source: johnnya123 / Getty Images

32. Utah
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,960
> Cost of living: 2.7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 683
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

33. Vermont
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,924
> Cost of living: 1.6% more than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 702
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: RudyBalasko / Getty Images

34. Minnesota
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,911
> Cost of living: 2.5% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 709
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

35. Missouri
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,897
> Cost of living: 10.5% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 675
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: TheBigMK / Getty Images

36. Montana
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,845
> Cost of living: 5.9% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 689
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

37. Ohio
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,843
> Cost of living: 10.7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 678
> Avg. number of cards: 3.0

Source: knowlesgallery / Getty Images

38. Idaho
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,817
> Cost of living: 7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 681
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

39. Maine
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,784
> Cost of living: 1.6% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 689
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: EunikaSopotnicka / Getty Images

40. South Dakota
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,692
> Cost of living: 11.7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 700
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: Belinda Hankins Miller from U.S.A., upload by Herrick 10:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC) / Wikimedia Commons

41. Arkansas
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,660
> Cost of living: 13.1% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 657
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

42. Nebraska
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,630
> Cost of living: 9.5% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 695
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: pawel.gaul / Getty Images

43. Michigan
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,622
> Cost of living: 6.7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 677
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

44. Indiana
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,581
> Cost of living: 9.7% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 667
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

45. Kentucky
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,555
> Cost of living: 12.2% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 663
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

46. West Virginia
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,547
> Cost of living: 12.4% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 658
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

47. North Dakota
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,511
> Cost of living: 8.5% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 697
> Avg. number of cards: 2.9

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

48. Mississippi
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,421
> Cost of living: 13.6% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 647
> Avg. number of cards: 2.6

Source: Ron_Thomas / Getty Images

49. Wisconsin
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,363
> Cost of living: 7.2% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 696
> Avg. number of cards: 2.8

Source: Ron_Thomas / Getty Images

50. Iowa
> Avg. credit card balance: $5,155
> Cost of living: 9.8% less than avg.
> Avg. credit score: 695
> Avg. number of cards: 2.7