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Credit Card Debt Stats from All 50 States

We live in a country that’s in love with charging expenses to their credit card. As many people know, this can cause big problems. Where does your states average household debt rank?

The amount of average debt per household changes from state to state. Why? There are a number of factors, but we’ll let you make your own conclusions about that.

More information about each state following the infographic.

50_states_of_credit_card_debt

1.  Kentucky  $10,079.53

This state comes in with the most out of all in the country! The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General has enacted the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act that keeps people from getting into debt with false or misleading practices in commerce.

2.  Mississippi  $9,821.80

Mississippi is known for the world’s largest shrimp that is on display in Pascagoula. Maybe personal debt is so high because of all the shrimp they eat? On a serious note, Mississippi sued JP Morgan over illegal debt collection back in December of 2013.

3.  West Virginia  $9,346.59

With the oldest population of any state, West Virginia also comes in with quite high consumer debt. The first electric railroad in the world was built to go from Huntington and Guyandotte. Their industry puts out stone, clay and glass products, as well as quite a bit of tourism.

4.  Indiana  $9,304.42

Indiana enacts the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act which helps consumers not get caught up in unfair practices. Residents here have 30 days to dispute any debt, though after that, it is considered valid. Debt collectors cannot make any false statements regarding their identity, or your debt, among other things.

5.  Nevada  $9,107.19

With all the chances to gamble, one might think that Nevada would have the highest amount of consumer debt, but this desert state comes in at #5. The statute of limitations on debt collection is 4 years for oral contracts, 6 for written, 3 for promissory, and 4 for open ended accounts.

6.  Wyoming  $8,729.41

Something you might have known about Wyoming, it was the first state to give women the right to vote. Thank you cowboys! This coal producing state has quite a bit of consumer debt. Is that because they have to drive so far to get from point A to point B? Wide open spaces require lots of fuel!

7.  Arizona  $8,561.78

If you aren’t wearing a bolo tie, you will probably stand out since it is the official state neckwear. The four corners is a place to visit since it is the only spot in the United States where you can stand in four states at one time.

8.  Minnesota  $8,301.62

Could high consumer debt be because the Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields, and 9.5 million square feet? That’s a lot of shopping temptation! The Minneapolis skyway system makes it easy to eat, shop, live, and work without even going outside since it connects 52 city blocks together.

9.  Kansas  $7,916.74

There is no place like home, there is no place like home! Once, in the past, it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas. Now that it’s not a law, we wonder if those Kansonians are racking up debt from all the dessert they can eat now!

10.  New Mexico  $7,692.55

New Mexicans definitely have their priorities in order since they are showing to be reducing their overall consumer debt successfully. On average, consumer debt has fallen by $630 back in 2011. We can all take a play from this book and work on reducing our own.

11.  Massachusetts  $7,457.84

Perhaps the guy in Rockport who built his house entirely out of newspaper is a poster child for Massachusetts consumer debt? We can’t imagine that getting his hands on that many newspapers was cheap! Oh, and for people with a sweet teeth, you’ll love knowing that the Fig Newton came out of Newton, Mass.

12.  Rhode Island  $7,327.04

Did you know that Rhode Island is the smallest state in size in the entire United States? It only covers an area of 1,214 square miles! The very first circus that ever performed was in Newport back in 1774. This might explain the Flying Horse Carousel that is the nation’s oldest one.

13.  Montana  $7,180,53

Montanans have been advised to avoid any kind of debt settlement services and  are recommended instead to consider debt consolidation, or credit counseling. We believe this is a bit of a stretch to paint the entire industry like this. All debt settlement companies are not created equal and there are definitely both good and bad companies in the industry. The state is aware of its high consumer debt and wants to help its citizens make smarter debt repayment decisions.

14.  Iowa  $7,048.77

Check here for some interesting facts on debt collections in Iowa. Their debt collectors are not licensed, and fly under the radar unless they collect more than $25k. In that case, they need to then file notification with Iowa Attorney General Office.

15.  Nebraska  $6,950.70

We have figured out the cause of Nebraskans consumer debt problem. It’s Kool-Aid! In 1927, Edwin E. Perkins invented it there. Residents just might be spending thousands on cases of the brightly colored sugary drink! Or it could be their consumption of copious amounts of Reuben sandwiches which were also invented there.

16.  Arkansas  $6,868.19

As with all states, Arkansas has many places that can help consumers with their debt. One such place is the Family Service Agency that offers Consumer Credit Counseling Services. They offer a great 8 hour course that can be done via computer. On a lighter note, this is the home state of Johnny Cash.

17. Connecticut  $6,762.42

In Hartford, walking across the street on your hands is frowned upon, the first lollipop making machine was built in New Haven, and the WWF has its headquarters in Stamford. Now, we would love to see a WWF wrestler sucking on a lollipop cross the street on his hands.

18.  Ohio  $6,487.70

In this state, you can sing “Hang on Sloopy” and fit right in since it is the official state rock song. Cleveland is said to have operated the first ever traffic light in 1914. Charles Goodyear developed the process of giving Vulcans rubber. Oh wait, he developed the process of vulcanizing rubber in 1839.

 19.  New Hampshire  $6,159.08

When your debts go to collections and they are still unpaid, they can garnish your wages only after obtaining a court judgment that states that you owe them money. If you are interested in the laws of garnishment in New Hampshire, take a look.

20.  Tennessee  $6,110.97

Believe it or not, Greeneville features the only monument in the US that honors both Union and Confederate armies. If you want to go caving, this is the place to do it; Tennessee has more than 3,800 documented caves to explore!

21.  Idaho  $6,090.75

It’s not only a great place to get potatoes, but you can see Soda Springs, the largest man made geyser in the world. Yes, we said the world!  The town of American Falls was actually moved in the 1920’s from one location to another. An entire town just picked up and moved when the American Falls Dam was constructed.

22.  Louisiana  $6,036.99

Half of college students carry around $22,789 in debt, and Louisiana is #10 for highest college debt.  It’s a whole other world in Louisiana since they do not have counties, instead they have parishes and they are the only state in the U.S. to have done this.

23.  North Carolina  $5,944.91

There’s no doubt in our minds, because High Point North Carolina is known as the Furniture Capitol of the World, that consumers here are packing their homes with excess furniture and drowning in debt because of it. At least when you visit you’ll know you have a place to sit and sleep

24.  Delaware  $5,863.97

With a town too big to fit in just one state, Delmar is actually located in Delaware and Maryland. Maybe some of their consumer debt gets miscounted when purchases are made in Maryland instead. Consumers could easily fall into two states’ categories!

25.  Florida  $5,758.16

Who could not rack up debt in such a lovely state? Drinks on the beach, bright summer clothes, boating, and more, would keep a normal person spending all sorts of money. Besides, who can resist blowing a bunch of money at Disneyworld?

26.  Alabama  $5,744.66

Every state has their debt collection laws, so it is always good to double check what they are wherever you live. Take a look to see what Alabama’s debt collection laws entail. It covers things like garnishment, bad checks, statute of limitations, and more.

27.  Maine  $5,613.10

The city of Eastport is the most eastern city in Maine and it is considered to be the very first place in the entire U.S. that the sun rays hit first every morning. Lobster isn’t cheap, even by the seaside, so perhaps the reason for Maine’s high consumer debt is from the 40 millions of pounds of lobster that is caught off the coast.

28.  Colorado  $5,526.56

We also think that because of the great skiing and snowboarding here that consumers are spending lots of money hitting the slopes every winter. Ok, maybe not. But if not, then high consumer debt must come from all the cheeseburgers they eat; Denver is known to be the place where the cheeseburger was invented.

29.  Wisconsin $5,230.71

It’s the cheese, we know it’s the cheese. High debt because of cheese consumption! The first hydroelectric plant in the U.S. was built at Fox River, and if you want to play at the largest water theme park in the U.S., make sure to visit Noah’s Ark in Wisconsin Dells.

30.  New Jersey  $5,153.19

We really like that this Debt Collection Handbook gives consumers in New Jersey an easy and user friendly way to stay educated on debt collections. With references and links peppered throughout the document, you have adequate knowledge to arm yourself with when debt collectors come calling.

31.  Illinois $4,859.58

Mormons can relate to the first ever Mormon temple being built in Nauvoo; it is a popular tourist site. The first skyscraper in the world was built in Chicago in 1885. If you eat at McDonald’s, you might be interested to know that the first store was opened in Des Plaines.

32.  Oregon  $4,810.25

Perhaps the residents of Oregon pay too much money for ghost investigators; it has more ghost towns than any other state in the U.S. Or perhaps they are stocking up on food for when the Pilot Butte cinder cone volcano finally decides to erupt.

33. Oklahoma  $4,804.32

This state is known for its four beautiful mountain ranges. They are the Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Kiamichis. The movie “Twister” was set in this state, and it is the home of the very first YEILD sign. For you country fans, Garth Brooks was born in Tulsa.

34.  Michigan  $4,781.05

The Kellogg brothers accidentally figured out how to make flaked cereal products in Battle Creek, and that began the cereal industry. Something kind of interesting is that Michigan has the only floating post office; this boat delivers mail to ships just off the shore. It’s actually been in business for over 100 years!

35.  Utah  $4,780.79

The good news for Utah is that in 2011, Utahns started lowering their consumer debt. It used to be as high as $15,000+, but in recent years, outstanding balances on student and auto debt has come down.  Utah families are known to be large so it can’t be easy providing for 18 kids at a time.

36.  California  $4,762.06

If you are thinking about catching or molesting butterflies, then don’t. There is a law in Pacific Grove that will give you a $500 fine for it. The economy in Cali is astounding. Not only have they reached a one trillion dollar economy in gross state product, they rank as the 4th largest economy in the U.S.

37.  Texas  $4,481.82

Since everything is big in Texas, everything must cost a whole lot more, right? We find it very interesting that Texas flies flags of 6 different nations, and they have had eight changes in government from 1519 to 1865. Remember when we said that Rhode Island is the smallest state? Well, King Ranch in Texas is bigger than Rhode Island. Just let that sink in for a minute.

38.  New York  $4,382.34

You might find this report on Household Debt and Credit useful. It is done quarterly and this one is from February of 2014. With charts and statistics, New Yorkers can get a very clear view of typical household debt.  On a fun note, the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair were held in Bethel.

39.  Washington  $4,380.86

This is the only state that was named after a President. There are more glaciers here than all the other 47 contiguous states put together. Jimi Hendrix and Bing Crosby were both born in Washington. Many of you might not know that Starbucks Coffee Shops were founded in Seattle.

40.  Hawaii  $4,329.24

In the United States, Hawaii is the only one who grows coffee. Shipping things in like butter and milk makes those prices exceptionally high since there is no real place for livestock on the islands. This high cost of living could be playing a part in the household consumer debt here.

41.  North Dakota  $4,188.69

Back in 1947, there was an attempt to drop the “North” part of the state name but it was defeated. It  didn’t pass in 1989 either. If you want sunflowers or sunflower seeds, this is the state to visit. Consumer debt might stem from milk; it is the official state beverage so people must be going into debt to keep their tummies full of it.

42.  Missouri  $4,009.37

Ice tea was invented at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 when Richard Blechyden decided to cool down this typically hot drink with ice. The ice cream cone was also invented here; when cups ran out, a waffle vendor was asked to roll up waffles to hold ice cream.

43.  Maryland  $3,872.39

The United States Naval Academy was founded at Annapolis in 1845. Babe Ruth, the baseball player not the candy bar, was born in Baltimore.  Since oysters are so expensive a sea food, maybe consumer debt can be attributed to the oyster dredging and tonging in this state.

44.  Vermont  $3,457.42

Believe it or not, Vermont’s largest employer is IBM. They also did not have a Wal-Mart until 1996, and Rudyard Kipling invented the game of snow golf in the 1890’s. With less than 9,000 people, Montpelier is the smallest state capitol.

45.  South Carolina  $3,587.55

The Department of Consumer Affairs has a great Q&A section regarding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They make it very user friendly to navigate and get your basic questions answered about debt collections in South Carolina. On a side note, the state dance of S.C. is the Shag!

46.  South Dakota  $3,478.19

If you didn’t already know this, Mount Rushmore is located here.  Tom Brokaw whom you see on NBC, graduated from The University of South Dakota. Any motorcycle fans might know that the annual Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis is held here as well.

47. Alaska  $2,653.00

If it weren’t for gold being discovered in Juneau in 1880, it might not be as populated as it is now; it definitely became part of the North American Gold Rush. Fishing and seafood are the largest private industry employers. Dog mushing is an official state sport.

48.  Virginia  $2,603.86

If you are interested in viewing the actual bill for West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, be prepared for legal jargon, but you’ll be able to see exactly what can and cannot be done regarding collection of your debts in this state.

49.  Pennsylvania  $2,073.76

They sure know how to market themselves here; Pennsylvania is the first state to list their website URL on license plates. 1946 showed the first computer being run in Philadelphia. Betty Ross is also known to have sewn the first American flag in Philadelphia as well.

50.  Georgia  $1,062.07

We aren’t sure why, but in Gainesville, the Chicken Capitol of the World, it is illegal to eat any chicken with a fork. The largest poultry trade show is held here as well. We have determined that chicken consumption drives consumer debt in this state.

 

  • Takes your existing debt and try to settle with your creditors for a lower amount. If you pay off the settled amount, your debt will be considered paid in full.
  • Negotiates with your creditors on your behalf.
  • Fee based on a percentage of your total starting debt or a percentage of the debt they save you.
  • Most settlement companies have you create a separate "escrow" account where you will make monthly contributions over a certain amount of time to contribute to your settlement. Once there is a substantial amount of funds to show your creditors, the settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount of debt.
  • Combines all your debts and creditors into one monthly payment.
  • Allows you to pay one monthly payment to the consolidation company, instead of multiple payments to different creditors.
  • You no longer owe your original creditors; instead you pay one monthly payment to your consolidation company.
  • Consolidation companies can help negotiate lower interest rates on your debts and help lower your total debt payment in the long run. A lower interest rate will lower the amount you owe in the end.
  • Allows you to consolidate all your different debts into one personal loan that can be paid off over time.
  • Can offer borrowers a lower interest rate with a longer payback term (compared to high-interest credit cards or medical bills). This will lower the amount of money required to pay off the loan over time.
  • Personal loan debt consolidation can be an effective way to raise your credit score quickly (within 3-6 months).
  • Borrowers can receive funds from their loan within only a few days.

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