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Alaskans carry the highest credit card balance—here's the average credit card balance in every state

CNBC Select reviews the average credit card balance in every state from the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review. Do you have a balance on your credit card? We've also got some advice on how to get out of debt.

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If you have credit card debt, you're not alone. On average, Americans carry $6,194 in credit card debt, according to the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review. And Alaskans have the highest credit card balance, on average $8,026.

Plus, U.S. credit card debt hit a record high of $930 billion in the final quarter of 2019, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Carrying a balance month to month can be costly, especially if it's on a high interest credit card. But you don't have to struggle with debt forever. If you have good or excellent credit, you may qualify for a balance transfer credit card, like the Citi Simplicity® Card which offers no interest for 21 months on balance transfers (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR). Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

Below, CNBC Select shares the average credit card balance in every state from Experian's report along with some advice on how to get out of credit card debt with a balance transfer card.

Key findings

  • American's average credit card debt is $6,194
  • Alaskans have the highest credit card balance, on average $8,026
  • Iowans have the lowest credit card balance, on average $4,774

Top 10 states with the highest credit card balance

While the average credit card balance is $6,194, Americans living in certain states carry much more. Alaskans take the top spot with an average credit card balance of $8,026. Meanwhile, many states on the East Coast have balances above the national average.

  1. Alaska: $8,026
  2. New Jersey: $7,084
  3. Connecticut: $7,082
  4. District of Columbia: $7,077
  5. Virginia: $6,969
  6. Maryland: $6,946
  7. Texas: $6,753
  8. Hawaii: $6,673
  9. Georgia: $6,569
  10. New York: $6,491

Top 10 states with the lowest credit card balance

The further you live from the coasts, the lower the average credit card balance, which is partially due to a lower cost of living. On average, Iowans have the lowest balance at $4,774.

  1. Iowa: $4,774
  2. Wisconsin: $4,961
  3. Mississippi: $5,134
  4. Kentucky: $5,140
  5. West Virginia: $5,144
  6. Idaho: $5,213
  7. South Dakota: $5,235
  8. Indiana: $5,254
  9. North Dakota: $5,265
  10. Arkansas: $5,327

Average credit card balance by state

State Avg. Credit Card Balance
Alabama$5,672
Alaska$8,026
Arizona$6,053
Arkansas$5,327
California$6,222
Colorado$6,416
Connecticut$7,082
Delaware$6,335
District of Columbia$7,077
Florida$6,460
Georgia$6,569
Hawaii$6,673
Idaho$5,213
Illinois$6,253
Indiana$5,254
Iowa$4,774
Kansas$5,769
Kentucky$5,140
Louisiana$5,811
Maine$5,442
Maryland$6,946
Massachusetts$6,213
Michigan$5,399
Minnesota$5,489
Mississippi$5,134
Missouri$5,601
Montana$5,482
Nebraska$5,423
Nevada$6,220
New Hampshire$6,235
New Jersey$7,084
New Mexico$5,851
New York$6,491
North Carolina$5,832
North Dakota$5,265
Ohio$5,560
Oklahoma$5,848
Oregon$5,498
Pennsylvania$5,840
Rhode Island$6,177
South Carolina$5,938
South Dakota$5,235
Tennessee$5,688
Texas$6,753
Utah$5,600
Vermont$5,466
Virginia$6,969
Washington$6,156
West Virginia$5,144
Wisconsin$4,961
Wyoming$5,782

Get out of debt with a balance transfer credit card

A balance transfer is a smart way to ease the burden of paying off your credit card debt. Balance transfers can add up to substantial savings if you're carrying a balance on a high interest credit card, where a portion of your payment goes toward interest charges.

Balance transfer cards often have set limits on the amount of debt you can transfer, and you can't complete a transfer between cards issued from the same bank. Also make sure you read the fine print before requesting a transfer and consider any balance transfer fees.

How much money can a balance transfer save?

If the average American with a $6,194 balance on their credit card pays $200 each month toward their debt, it will take them 42 months — more than three years — to pay off that debt. And they will spend $2,012 in additional interest, assuming an average 16.97% APR.

If you complete a balance transfer with promotional 0% APR period, you could save hundreds on interest. Keep in mind that most balance transfer credit cards have a one-time 3% fee.

Here is additional information on some popular balance transfer cards.

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    14.74% to 24.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

On Discover's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 18 months on balance transfers; 0% for 6 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    11.99% - 22.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

*See rates and fees, terms apply.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.