Become Debt-Free

The 7 places in the U.S. with the most credit card debt

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Americans have racked up a lot of credit card debt. As of the beginning of 2022, the total amount was over $1 trillion, according to WalletHub.

But the median balance owed significantly varies by state. To see where borrowers owe the most, personal finance website WalletHub analyzed balance and payment data from TransUnion for people living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as of September 2021. 

WalletHub also calculated how long it would take to pay off the median amount of debt in each state as well as the accompanying financial charges, assuming an interest rate of 16.17%.

Here are the seven places in the U.S. with highest median credit card debt. The cost to payoff is displayed as a negative number because it represents the amount of money spent on interest to pay down the debt.

1. Alaska

Median credit card debt: $3,206

Cost to pay off: -$392

Time until payoff: 17 months and 27 days 

2. District of Columbia

Median credit card debt: $2,788

Cost to pay off: -$328

Time until payoff: 17 months and 3 days 

3. Washington

Median credit card debt: $2,471

Cost to pay off: -$249

Time until payoff: 14 months and 21 days 

4. Vermont

Median credit card debt: $2,181

Cost to pay off: -$216

Time until payoff: 14 months and 12 days 

5. Wyoming

Median credit card debt: $2,324

Cost to pay off: -$229

Time until payoff: 14 months and 10 days 

6. Oregon

Median credit card debt: $2,208

Cost to pay off: -$217 

Time until payoff: 14 months and 7 days 

7. Montana

Median credit card debt: $2,227

Cost to pay off: -$219

Time until payoff: 14 months and 7 days 

One of the reasons people amass credit card debt is because credit cards are accessible and easy to use, Eileen Milliken Beiter, a program director and associate professor of accounting at Nazareth College, told WalletHub.

"Credit card debt is designed to grow due to high Interest rates and through the power of compounding," Beiter said. "It is easy for people to make the minimum payment on credit cards, and the balance just keeps on growing."

And with the Fed raising interest rates by another 0.75%, outstanding credit card debt may get even more expensive.

In order to begin tackling your debt, Beiter says to start by understanding your cash flow: "What do you earn, and what are your expenses?" From there, "take stock of your debt," so you know what you owe.

She also recommends figuring out what motivates you to pay it off. "Ideally, you can focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate, but if eliminating debt with smaller balances first motivates you, go for it," she told WalletHub.

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