Credit Card Debt Still Dropping in Struggling Areas

September 27, 2012, Written By Lynn Oldshue

According to a new report from Equifax, the total consumer credit card debt is still declining in metropolitan areas recovering more slowly from the economic crisis.

The report showed the nation’s overall credit card debt increasing 0.02 percent in August from year ago levels. But the study looked specifically at the credit card debt in the top 25 metropolitan markets. It showed that credit card debt in August decreased versus year ago levels in 13 of those 25 markets.

Many of those markets where the decreases took place are having a much more difficult time in recovering from the recent economic downturn. Metro areas such as Los Angeles and Detroit posted declines of nearly 2 percent in August 2012 compared to a year ago.

“The differences between the metro areas illustrate the uneven nature of the economic recovery,” said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax. “In places where the housing bust was the worst, such as Florida, California and Nevada, and in places like Detroit and Ohio where the recession was particularly deep because of a dependence on manufacturing, consumers are continuing to be prudent about using credit. In other pockets of the country, consumers are feeling a bit more confident to take on new debt.”

Here is a look at the credit card debt in the top 25 metropolitan markets:

Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)

August 2011

August 2012

% Change

1

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island

$49,442,173,239

$49,662,412,350

0.45%

2

Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CA

$34,833,800,762

$34,242,965,911

-1.70%

3

Chicago-Gary-Kenosha IL-IN-WI CMSA

$20,574,073,904

$20,567,107,096

-0.03%

4

Washington-Baltimore DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA

$21,592,413,504

$21,840,085,380

1.15%

5

San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA CMSA

$17,566,454,593

$17,430,924,540

-0.77%

6

Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City PA-NJ-DE-MD CMSA

$13,875,885,160

$13,974,775,977

0.71%

7

Dallas-Fort Worth TX CMSA

$12,619,992,738

$12,720,359,952

0.80%

8

Boston-Worcester-Lawrence MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA

$13,550,202,100

$13,552,708,149

0.02%

9

Houston-Galveston-Brazoria TX CMSA

$10,778,268,050

$10,980,802,853

1.88%

10

Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint MI CMSA

$9,968,016,624

$9,788,158,527

-1.80%

11

Atlanta GA MSA

$10,540,205,068

$10,457,086,110

-0.79%

12

Miami-Fort Lauderdale FL CMSA

$8,550,582,875

$8,470,040,230

-0.94%

13

Phoenix-Mesa AZ MSA

$7,905,085,696

$7,855,967,285

-0.62%

14

Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton WA CMSA

$9,705,738,167

$9,729,270,702

0.24%

15

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA

$7,167,716,842

$7,180,615,325

0.18%

16

San Diego CA MSA

$7,038,077,401

$7,003,073,315

-0.50%

17

Denver-Boulder-Greeley CO CMSA

$7,077,677,725

$7,121,861,173

0.62%

18

Cleveland-Akron OH CMSA

$5,657,430,909

$5,618,364,154

-0.69%

19

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL MSA

$5,771,510,185

$5,730,977,616

-0.70%

20

St. Louis MO-IL MSA

$5,507,278,872

$5,521,310,374

0.25%

21

Portland-Salem OR-WA CMSA

$5,175,138,968

$5,184,193,509

0.17%

22

Pittsburgh PA MSA

$4,704,224,738

$4,724,413,343

0.43%

23

Las Vegas NV-AZ MSA

$3,761,536,021

$3,690,848,218

-1.88%

24

Sacramento-Yolo CA CMSA

$4,351,550,734

$4,292,273,885

-1.36%

25

Orlando FL MSA

$4,053,579,121

$4,021,282,364

-0.80%



The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 27, 2012. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.