Americans paid off nearly $100 billion in credit card debt in the early months of the pandemic, as shutdowns across the country found much of the population isolating in their homes and thus not spending as much. Over the past year, however, debt from credit cards and other revolving plans has surged, hitting an all-time high of $1,103.2 billion in April 2022, the most recent month for which data is available.
According to a recent credit card debt study from WalletHub, a financial advice company, the average American household had $8,425 in credit card debt in the first quarter of 2022, up 3.1% from a year earlier. In some parts of the country, however, average debt exceeds that amount by thousands of dollars.
Using data from WalletHub, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 U.S. cities with the highest average credit card debt per household as of the first quarter of 2022. Of the 182 cities WalletHub considered, we reviewed the 150 most populous and at least two of the most populated cities in each state. All debt data came from WalletHub, while median household income figures are five-year averages as of 2020 from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
The majority of the cities on this list are in the West, including 20 in California alone. In every city listed, average household credit card debt is at least $11,300, and in several cities, it exceeds $14,000. (These, on the other hand, are the cities paying down the most credit card debt.)
Not only are the cities on this list home to some big spenders, but most are also home to some high earners. In the vast majority of these cities, the typical household earns more than the national median household income of $64,994. (You might be surprised to learn what income level is considered middle class in your state.)
It is important to note that credit card debt accounts for only about 5% of all U.S. consumer debt, as it does not include forms of debt considered non-revolving, including car loans, mortgages, and student loans, the three biggest sources of household debt in the United States. (Here is a look at the 50 U.S. counties with the most student debt.)
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