The Federal Reserve recently reported that credit card debt or revolving debt accounted for $1.02 trillion in November 2017, that amount is the highest level on record without adjusting for inflation dating back to December 2008. The Fed also reported that consumer borrowing grew 8.8%, the biggest gain in more than two years as Americans charged close to $28 billion in credit card, student, auto and other debt.
Credit card debt alone jumped $11.2 billion, the most in a year, bringing the total outstanding consumer debt total to $3.83 trillion.
That consumer confidence carried over into the holidays as U.S. retailers saw spending increase 4.9% in 2017 versus 2016 marking the biggest annual gain since 2011, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse data.
In a November survey of 1000 adults conducted by Experian, consumers said they planned on spending an average of $740 to pay for Holiday gift giving, up slightly from $734 in 2016. Another facilitator of this growth spurt came from online spending, which increased 18.1% this year according to the MasterCard data.
The Top Cities With the Most Credit Card Debt in 2017
When it comes to the cities with the most credit card debt, Alaska is also home to the top three cities—Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau. Texas has five of the top ten cities—Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio—with Washington, D.C., and Norfolk coming in at 4th and 5th respectively to round out the top ten.
|Rank||City||Average Balance on Credit Card|
|4||Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)||$7,442|
|5||Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA||$7,359|
|7||Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX||$7,171|
|8||New York, NY||$7,145|
|10||San Antonio, TX||$7,070|
|14||San Diego, CA||$6,848|
|17||West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL||$6,760|
|18||Corpus Christi, TX||$6,754|
|23||Hartford-New Haven, CT||$6,663|
|25||Los Angeles, CA||$6,632|
|26||Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL||$6,615|
|29||San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA||$6,533|
|30||New Orleans, LA||$6,510|
|31||Colorado Springs-Pueblo, CO||$6,503|
|34||Boston, MA-Manchester, NH||$6,455|
|35||Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, CA||$6,436|
|39||Wichita Falls, TX-Lawton, OK||$6,386|
|41||Panama City, FL||$6,372|
|42||Kansas City, KS||$6,368|
|43||Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM||$6,366|
|44||Palm Springs, CA||$6,323|
|45||Mobile, AL-Pensacola (Fort Walton Beach), FL||$6,303|
|47||Tucson, AZ (Sierra Vista)||$6,293|
|49||Las Vegas, NV||$6,276|
|50||Oklahoma City, OK||$6,267|
|52||Providence-New Bedford, RI||$6,255|
|53||Raleigh-Durham, NC (Fayetteville)||$6,251|
|55||Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL (Sarasota)||$6,204|
|56||St. Louis, MO||$6,203|
|65||Ft. Myers-Naples, FL||$6,140|
|72||El Paso, TX||$6,078|
|75||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||$6,036|
|84||Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL||$5,984|
|87||Montgomery, AL (Selma)||$5,960|
|88||Salt Lake City, UT||$5,953|
|89||Idaho Falls-Pocatello, ID||$5,921|
|90||San Angelo, TX||$5,921|
|91||Cleveland-Akron, OH (Canton)||$5,917|
|96||Baton Rouge, LA||$5,889|
|99||Burlington, VT-Plattsburgh, NY||$5,881|
|101||Rapid City, SD||$5,860|
|104||Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX||$5,848|
|105||Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AR||$5,848|
|106||Riverside-San Bernardino, CA||$5,829|
|108||Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA||$5,822|
|117||Grand Junction-Montrose, CO||$5,746|
|118||Twin Falls, ID||$5,742|
|119||Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC||$5,742|
|123||Medford-Klamath Falls, OR||$5,691|
|125||Great Falls, MT||$5,686|
|127||Florence-Myrtle Beach, SC||$5,677|
|130||Greenville-Spartanburg, Sc-Asheville, NC||$5,647|
|134||Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR||$5,605|
|137||Fargo-Valley City, ND||$5,584|
|144||Lake Charles, LA||$5,523|
|147||Sioux Falls, SD (Mitchell)||$5,512|
|151||Duluth, MN-Superior, WI||$5,492|
|157||South Bend-Elkhart, OR||$5,415|
|159||Des Moines-Ames, IA||$5,393|
|163||Joplin, MO-Pittsburg, KS||$5,378|
|165||Traverse City-Cadillac, MI||$5,359|
|171||Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI||$5,304|
|172||North Platte, MI||$5,298|
|173||Monroe-El Dorado, AR||$5,291|
|175||Paducah-Cape Girardeau-Harrisburg-Mt Vernon, KY||$5,279|
|177||Columbia-Jefferson City, MO||$5,257|
|178||Davenport, IA-Rock Island-Moline, IL||$5,216|
|179||Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, WV||$5,206|
|180||Ft. Wayne, IN||$5,205|
|181||Bowling Green, KY||$5,200|
|185||Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, MI||$5,137|
|187||St. Joseph, MO||$5,087|
|190||Rochester, MN-Mason City, IA-Austin, MN||$5,055|
|191||Yuma, AZ-El Centro, CA||$5,049|
|192||Terre Haute, IN||$5,038|
|194||Green Bay-Appleton, WI||$5,016|
|199||Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, OH||$4,966|
|200||La Crosse-Eau Claire, WI||$4,956|
|201||Presque Isle, ME||$4,954|
|202||Sioux City, IA||$4,947|
|204||Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque, IA||$4,938|
|205||Quincy, IL-Hannibal, MO-Keokuk, IA||$4,883|
|207||Ottumwa, IA-Kirksville, MO||$4,819|
The Top States With the Most Credit Card Debt in 2017
Alaska had the largest average credit card balance in 2017 among all states of $8,515 based on the 2017 Experian State of Credit data. Connecticut ranked 2nd with an average credit card balance of $7,258 followed by Virginia with an average credit card balance of $7,161. New Jersey ranked 4th with an average credit card balance of $7,151 with Maryland rounding out the top 5 with a balance of $7,043.
The Top States With the Largest Credit Card Balance Increase
Alaska also ranked 1st in the largest year-over-year increase towards the average credit card balances growing by $402. North Dakota ranked 2nd with a $364 increase to its average credit card balance, followed Hawaii ranking 3rd with a $308 increase. Texas ranked 4th with $278 added and Wyoming ranked 5th adding $231.
More Important Credit Card Data
The bulk of the credit card debt in America is concentrated among the most populated areas of the country. Looking at the most populated cities you can see that:
- The top 10 most populated cities accounted for 7% of all credit card debt with an average balance of $7,545.
- The top 20 most populated cities accounted for 12% of all credit card debt with an average balance of $7,191.
- The top 30 most populated cities accounted for 18% of all credit card debt with an average balance of $6,898.
Looking at the least populated cities you can see that:
- The top 10 least populated cities accounted for 5% of all credit card debt with an average balance of $5,936.
- The top 20 least populated cities accounted for 10% of all credit card debt with an average balance of $5,711.
- The top 30 least populated cities accounted for 14% of all credit card debt with an average balance of $5,626.
Do You Need Help Paying off Credit Card Debt?
A growing number of Americans struggle to pay off their credit card debt and fall behind on payments. If you need help to pay off credit card debt or are just trying to find the right debt management plan that works, start by educating yourself on the various strategies and options available. Knowing how much you owe and how many accounts you owe on is a good place to begin to get your credit card debt down.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on January 16, 2018, and has been updated.