American consumers have long relied on credit card debt to fuel their consumption habits, and despite a record-setting $82.1 billion pay down of credit card debt in 2020, the country’s plastic debtors are back to their habit of carrying higher amounts of unsecured, high- interest consumer debt.
US consumers added $87.3 billion onto their credit card debt last year, more than wiping out the gains made in the previous year, according to the online personal finance information provider WalletHub. Americans owed $1.02 trillion to their credit card issuers by the end of the fourth quarter 2021, with an average debt of $8,590 per household. (With gas prices on the rise, consumers might increasingly rely on debt. These are the states with the highest gas prices†
To identify the cities with the most credit card debt last year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed WalletHub‘s ranking of the average household credit card debt for 182 US cities. All data is from the report except median household income figures, which are from the Census Bureau American Community Survey 2019 five-year estimates. To create its report, WalletHub used data from the Census Bureau, Federal Reserve, TransUnion, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among the 25 US cities whose households carry the most credit card debt, the average outstanding balance ranges from $12,900 in Anaheim, California, to $16,126 in Pearl City, Hawaii. (Check to see if California and Hawaii are among the states where the most people are behind on mortgage payments†
The average credit card debt per household in the cities with the most credit card debt was $13,932 as of the end of 2021, after households in these cities paid down an average of $2,442 of their credit card debt throughout the year. Collectively, credit card debtors in these cities owed $4.1 billion by the end of 2021, after paying $653 million worth of outstanding credit card debt that year.
Debtors with higher outstanding balances tend to have higher debt pay downs, as they perhaps try harder to lower their high balances, but that is not always the case. Pearl City’s credit card debtors, for example, paid down only an average of $908 per household last year, despite owing the most on average among the 181 cities WalletHub reviewed. In contrast, households in Santa Clarita, California, paid down an average of $4,715, the highest pay down among cities reviewed, ending last year with an average credit card of $14,995.
Click here to see the cities with the most credit card debt