Paying Down Credit Card Debt
The average household that use credit cards owes more than $16,000 on them, according to a new report from Debt.com. That’s an awful lot, so it’s useful that the Debt.com team has mapped out where the easiest and most difficult states are to pay down debt on a new interactive map.
For instance, in Mississippi, it would take 13 years and 11 months to pay off the average credit card balance using minimum payments. And this is one of the better state scenarios. In Alaska, it would take you 20 years and 7 months.
In Alaska, making minimum payments will lose you an average of $4,617 just on interest.
See the map here: https://www.debt.com/2017/living-credit-hell/.
To develop the map, Debt.com researchers took the credit card balances per capita by state from the Federal Reserve data and calculated the length of time to pay off the debts with total interest charges based on an average minimum payment schedule.
Then they took U.S. Census Bureau data for median income by state to find the impact of devoting a full 15% of income towards credit card debt repayment. This allowed them to map where borrowers have the most leverage to pay off debt versus places where payment resources are the most limited.
The research reveals that Iowa and Nebraska stand out for having low debt relative to the median income.
This suggests credit users in the Midwest are more financially stable and better at managing debt levels. On the other hand, borrowers in Florida and Georgia stand out for having high debt relative to their median income.
States with higher median income were also more likely to have higher average balances.
For instance, credit users in Alaska have highest median income at $72,723, but they also have the highest credit card debt per capita.
By contrast, borrowers in Mississippi have the lowest median earnings at $41,099, but also the lowest credit card debt per capita at $1,850.
Debt.com is the consumer website helping people with credit card debt, student loans, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, debt collector harassment and more.
Another resource you can turn to is your local credit union. There, you’ll find resources for consolidating your high-interest credit card debt into a low-interest loan. You might also find better deals on credit cards offering lower interest than you’re currently paying.