In 2018, total credit card debt in the U.S. reached a high of more than $1 trillion, according to data from the Federal Reserve. As of 2019, individual households hold an average amount of nearly $9,000 each in credit card debt, financial website WalletHub reports, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, TransUnion and the Federal Reserve.
Residents in certain places, though, are far deeper in the red than others.
To determine where families owe the most, CNBC Make It used WalletHub's data to rank the top 10 cities where households have the highest average amounts of credit card debt.
Here's how they stack up.
Average household credit card debt: $24,180
Average household credit card debt: $24,962
Average household credit card debt: $25,266
Average household credit card debt: $25,627
Average household credit card debt: $25,797
Average household credit card debt: $25,862
Average household credit card debt: $27,020
Average household credit card debt: $28,645
Average household credit card debt: $28,714
Average household credit card debt: $30,094
It's no surprise that seven of the top 10 cities are in notoriously expensive states: Hawaii, Connecticut, New York and California. In these places, expenses such as housing and taxes can be significantly higher.
That can make it hard for Americans, particularly younger ones, to manage their expenses and keep up with credit card payments. In addition to coping with the high daily cost of living, many millennials must juggle various types of debt, such as student and auto loans.
Almost one in four, or 23 percent, of millennials (those aged 23 to 38) say they've been carrying a credit card balance for at least a year, according to financial website CreditCards.com. And over one in 10 say they've had credit card debt for more than five years.
If you have debt, it's important to take control of it, because details about your payment history, including late or missed payments, can affect your credit score. The better your score, the more likely you are to get a good deal on a car or house, or to save on rent.
Being in debt can affect other important parts of your life as well, keeping you from earning more and getting what you want, professionally, says personal finance expert Suze Orman. "When you are in debt, you feel it," she says, and "your boss can feel that," too. In essence, she says, "you render yourself powerless."
If you're having trouble keep up with your credit card payments, start by making a budget, WalletHub suggests. "It's difficult to spend within reason or plan savings if you don't know how your monthly spending compares to your take-home pay, or where that money is going," the site reports. "That is why you should rank-order your expenses — including debt payments, emergency fund contributions and other savings — and trim the fat, if necessary."
And, "once you develop your budget, make sure to stick to it or else you'll have simply wasted your time."
Here are some additional tips that can help you improve your credit and manage your expenses.
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