Credit card debt is a problem for many Americans, but it seems it is a bigger problem for those living in southern states. According to research produced by creditcards.com, the large majority of credit card debt is carried by individuals living below the Mason-Dixon line.
According to the creditcards.com study, approximately 40 percent of Americans earn enough money to pay their balances off in full every month. However, for the remaining 60 percent, those balances grow more each month, and the cardholder only ends up paying interest on the card through monthly payments, never quite making progress in paying it down.
The study ranked the states not necessarily based on the total debt held by individuals in those states. They were also ranked by the number of months it would take to pay down the average total credit card debt by making payments on the balances equal to 15 percent of that state’s monthly income.
While New Mexico tops the list of states when it comes to credit card debt, with the average balance is $8,323, southern states including Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Georgia follow New Mexico in terms of high balances being carried from month-to-month. The researchers that conducted the study correlate the high credit card balances with lower income in these states.
In the states with higher income levels, these cardholders are more likely to be able to pay off their balances in full every month. The lower the income and higher the balance, the less likely the cardholder will be able to ever conquer his or her debt. Further, the study showed that in the wealthier states, a credit card payment that was equal to 15 percent of that state’s median monthly income will be much more manageable than it would be in states with lower income. It just so happens that the states with the lower income were also southern states.
People living in the Miami metro area, which includes both Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, carry the second-highest credit card debt balances in the country, second to San Antonio, Texas. Texas was reported as being a state with three of the five cities that reportedly had the highest credit card debt.
As bankruptcy attorneys, we see credit card debt as one of the most common problems facing those with serious financial challenges. It is not surprising with the high interest rates, unreasonable fees, harassing debt collection calls, penalties and never-ending minimum payments that do not even make a dent in your actual debt. We offer additional tips for eliminating credit card debt on our blog.
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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.