At national scale, Americans owe $807 billion on 506 million credit cards. This means that there are 1.5 cards per person. This figure is misleading as few people under the age of 18 have a card. Some studies show the characteristics of credit card debt by demographics. As expected, high income earners are more indebted than low income earners.
Including bank and retail plastic, credit card debt averaged $6,569 per cardholder with outstanding balances in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Lending Tree’s 2022 Credit Card Debt Statistics. Like housing costs and gas prices, credit card debt varies by state.
To determine the state with the most credit card debt, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Lending Tree report. States were ranked by average credit card debt per cardholder, using data from 2021 credit reports.
New Jersey residents carried the most credit card debt with an average of $7,872 per cardholder. Other states in the northeast and mid-Atlantic also have residents with high outstanding balances. Connecticut came in second with an average debt per cardholder of $7,721, while Maryland’s third-place average debt was $7,464.
Meanwhile, Kentuckians are living relatively debt-free with an average outstanding credit card balance of $5,441. That’s nearly $2,500 less than New Jersey cardholders. The disparity could be attributed to the higher cost of living in the Garden State. According to a 24/7 study on Wall St., the cost of living in New Jersey is 15% higher than the national average, while the cost of living in Kentucky is 7% lower on average.
Click here to see all the states with the most credit card debt.