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Collectively, Americans owe more than $1 trillion in credit card debt.
Despite the strong preference for plastic, that burden is not felt across the board. Residents in some states are faring better than others when it comes to paying down their balances, according to a new report by WalletHub.
Using the median credit card balance and monthly credit card payment of residents in each state based on credit data from TransUnion and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the personal finance site determined the required number of months to pay off that balance and the finance charges that would result, assuming an average 16.91% annual percentage rate.
From there, WalletHub ranked the states from least sustainable credit card debt — or longest payoff timeline — to shortest.
In Indiana, for example, where the average balance is only $2,313, it would take a little less than 10 months to pay that back while racking up $167 in interest charges.
In Alaska, however, the average balance is $4,144 — nearly twice as much — and that would take 19 months, or more than a year and a half, to pay off, while ringing up $575 in finance charges.
Here is the nationwide rundown:
"This level of credit card debt is not sustainable," said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub.
Better credit card management boils down to making payments on time and not buying things you otherwise can't afford. Gonzalez also recommends making at least the minimum payment every month to avoid fees and putting extra resources toward paying down the highest-interest card first.