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Top 10 States with the Most Credit Card Debt: How Long It Would Take to Pay It Off

The struggle to pay of credit card debt is real. According to Credit Sesame’s internal data, analyzed from a subset of our 7 million members, the average credit card debt a consumer has is about $5,218. It’s not that different than the Federal Reserve’s numbers — it said the average American adult has about $5,440 in credit card debt.

We looked at which states have the highest average credit card debt and how much it costs residents to wipe out the balances. Our study is based in part on information drawn from our internal database of seven million Credit Sesame members.

We looked at the average credit debt for each state, median income, the typical monthly debt payment and interest rates. We found that income aside, a higher average card balance corresponded to a more expensive payoff when the same interest rate was applied. Income does, however, have a direct impact on how long it takes residents in each state to pay off debt.

10. Illinois

illinois

Average credit card debt: $5,128
Median monthly salary: $4,504
Monthly debt payment: $676
Months to pay off: 8.9
Total amount paid with interest: $6,031

Illinois ranks tenth overall with the lowest average credit card debt and residents have the fourth-highest average number of cards. The payoff time here is the third longest overall but residents pay the least altogether with interest included.

9. Colorado

colorado

Average credit card debt: $5,217
Median monthly salary: $5,061
Monthly debt payment: $759
Months to pay off: 8.1
Total amount paid with interest: $6,135

Colorado residents are looking at a slightly shorter pay off time, with a median monthly income that’s roughly $500 higher. In terms of the interest, they’re still paying more to get rid of their debt because of the higher average balance.

8. New York

nyc

Average credit card debt: $5,251
Median monthly salary: $4,296
Monthly debt payment: $644
Months to pay off: 9.6
Total amount paid with interest: $6,175

The Empire State ranks second overall in terms of the longest time frame to pay down the debt. Residents dedicate the least amount of income to paying their cards each month but they’re paying more in interest compared to the previous two states.

7. Virginia

virginia

Average credit card debt: $5,311
Median monthly salary: $5,501
Monthly debt payment: $825
Months to pay off: 4.6
Total amount paid with interest: $6,246

Virginia residents pay a decent amount of interest on their debt but they enjoy the shortest payoff time, at just 4.6 months. That’s not unusual, however, considering they also take home a bigger median paycheck.

6. Maryland

maryland

Average credit card debt: $5,319
Median monthly salary: $5,819
Monthly debt payment: $873
Months to pay off: 7.2
Total amount paid with interest: $6,255

Folks in Maryland take home the highest median income each month, which means a higher credit card payment. The payoff period is the second shortest on the list but its higher ranking can be attributed to the total repayment cost.

5. New Hampshire

nh

Average credit card debt: $5,364
Median monthly salary: $5,788
Monthly debt payment: $868
Months to pay off: 7.3
Total amount paid with interest: $6,308

New Hampshire tops Maryland with a slightly higher average credit card debt but the payoff time is only marginally longer. They’re also paying a little more overall once the interest is added in.

4. Alaska

alaska

Average credit card debt: $5,480
Median monthly salary: $5,144
Monthly debt payment: $772
Months to pay off: 8.4
Total amount paid with interest: $6,445

Alaskans have the fourth highest credit card debt and the fewest cards on average, with just 3.9 per person. Despite earning more, they’re still looking at a longer time frame to dump their debt and they’re paying a sizable amount in interest.

3. Connecticut

connecticut

Average credit card debt: $5,620
Median monthly salary: $5,575
Monthly debt payment: $836
Months to pay off: 7.9
Total amount paid with interest: $6,609

Connecticut residents are taking home a decent income each month but they’re spending a big chunk of it on zeroing out their credit cards. They’re also carrying a higher number of cards on average versus residents in other states.

2. New Jersey

nj

Average credit card debt: $5,767
Median monthly salary: $5,389
Monthly debt payment: $808
Months to pay off: 8.4
Total amount paid with interest: $6,782

New Jersey comes first in terms of how many cards residents carry, averaging 5.5 apiece, which may account for the higher average debt load. The Constitution State ties with Alaska for the fourth-longest payoff time, at 8.4 months.

1. Hawaii

hawaii

Average credit card debt: $6,182
Median monthly salary: $4,990
Monthly debt payment: $749
Months to pay off: 9.7
Total amount paid with interest: $7,270

Hawaii is a great place to plan a vacation but the cost of living here full-time can be astronomical. That said, it’s not a shocker that it made it to the top of our list based on average credit card debt. Unfortunately, residents are pulling in a lower median salary which means it takes them the longest to pay down their balances. That, in turn, results in them paying the most in interest overall.

Methodology

We used information from several sources to compile our rankings. First, we drew on our internal data for seven million Credit Sesame members to determine the average credit card debt and the average number of cards for each state. Median salary information was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

We estimated the monthly debt payment by assuming debtors are spending 15% of their income each month to service their debt. (Fifteen percent is the proportion recommended for people focused on paying off debt.) To calculate the total amount paid, we assumed a 17.6% average interest rate, and multiplied that by the monthly payment amount.

To get the number of months to pay off, we divided the total amount paid with interest by the monthly payment. The 10 states included in our study are the ones with the highest average credit card debt and the most expensive payoff. For our final rankings, we listed them from the lowest average balance to the highest

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