The Metro Areas with the Worst Credit Card Debt

September 1, 2015, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Stack of Credit Cards, with shallow DOF (focus on cards tips)

According to a recent survey, cardholders from some major cities in Texas take longer to pay off credit card debt than any other metro areas in the United States. The Lone Star State had three of the five worst areas for outstanding credit card debt, with payback periods nearly double those of other regions.

San Antonio topped the list with a 16-month payback period, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta all at 14 months. Houston rounded out the top five with a 13-month payback period. By comparison, the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose metropolis ranked best for payoff periods, taking an average of just 9 months. Boston and Washington D.C. boasted payback periods of 10 months.

The vast differences between the payoff periods for these metropolitan areas may be due, in part, to the average income in different parts of the country. The areas that took the longest time period to pay back their credit card debts have significantly lower average incomes, and thus it may take longer for individuals to pay back their balances.

In the Bay area, the median earnings were $44,491, and the average card balances were $4,393. In San Antonio, the average balance was a similar $4,880, but the average income was only $27,491. If each household used 15% of their income to pay back debts, as the survey suggests, it would be completely logical for individuals in Southern and Midwestern areas with lower average income to take a longer period of time to pay off their credit card debt than those in higher income coastal areas.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 1, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.