Money

The 5 US states that struggle most with credit card debt

Alaskans carried the heaviest credit card debt burden in the U.S in 2016.
David Goldman Photo | Getty Images
Alaskans carried the heaviest credit card debt burden in the U.S in 2016.

Americans are taking on dangerously high amounts of credit card debt.

When it comes to handling that debt, the Sun Belt states are struggling more than others: Florida, Texas, Georgia and New Mexico have four of the five heaviest credit card debt burdens in the nation.

That's according to CreditCards.com, which recently ranked how quickly residents in each U.S. state can erase the average credit card balance, using 15 percent of their earnings. (Read the full methodology here.)

"The southern states at the bottom of the list suffered more from low incomes than high debts," the site notes. "For example, Florida's average credit card debt per bank cardholder ranks a respectable 18th among the 50 states, but its median income is 41st."

Here are the states with the heaviest credit card debt burdens, ranked by the number of months it would take to pay off the debt if you put 15 percent of your gross monthly income towards payments. (Interest cost served as a tiebreaker.)

Keep in mind that the time necessary to pay off the debt would increase drastically if you only made minimum payments each month. For example, "it would take the typical Florida cardholder almost 13 years to retire the state's average credit card debt of $5,603. And he/she would pay over $3,600 in interest," CreditCards.com says.


5. Florida

Average credit card balance: $5,603

Median earnings: $28,381

Months to pay off: 18

Interest to pay off: $678


4. Texas

Average credit card balance: $6,009

Median earnings: $31,038

Months to pay off: 18

Interest to pay off: $712


3. Georgia

Average credit card balance: $5,953

Median earnings: $30,284

Months to pay off: 18

Interest to pay off: $716


2. New Mexico

Average credit card balance: $5,615

Median earnings: $26,244

Months to pay off: 20

Interest to pay off: $743


1. Alaska

Average credit card balance: $7,552

Median earnings: $35,552

Months to pay off: 20

Interest to pay off: $992