The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its Q3 2018 Credit Card Debt Study, which found that consumers racked up $16 billion in credit card debt from June through September, sending outstanding debt to an all-time record level for the third quarter of a year. As a result, another Federal Reserve rate hike – which has a 70% chance of happening on Dec. 19 – would now cost credit card users an extra $1.56 billion in interest.
The debt picture is worrisome nationwide, but some areas have bigger payment problems than others according to WalletHub’s report on the Cities with the Most & Least Credit Card Debt entering 2019 (accompanying videos). WalletHub’s researchers drew upon data from TransUnion, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Census Bureau and WalletHub’s proprietary credit card payoff calculator to determine the cost and time required to repay the median credit card balance in more than 2,500 U.S. cities.
Below, you can find a handful of highlights from these reports.
|Cities with the Least-Sustainable Credit Card Debt||Cities with the Most-Sustainable Credit Card Debt|
|Colleyville, TX||Carmel, IN|
|Darien, CT||Gainesville, TX|
|Park City, UT||Lake Forest, IL|
|Fairbanks, AK||Bastrop, LA|
|Summit, NJ||Allen, TX|
|Leawood, KS||Madison, MS|
|The Woodlands, TX||Coral Gables, FL|
|Mill Valley, CA||Frankfort, KY|
|Needham, MA||Russellville, AR|
|Sammamish, WA||Southaven, MS|
|Durango, CO||Troy, AL|
|Lafayette, CO||Millsboro, DE|
|Juneau, AK||Goshen, IN|
|Southlake, TX||Jackson, MO|
|Ridgewood, NJ||Grand Junction, CO|
|Hoboken, NJ||Tifton, GA|
|Westport, CT||Newton, NC|
|Winchester, MA||Montrose, CO|
|Highland Park, IL||Gulf Breeze, FL|
|Bethesda, MD||Abingdon, VA|
- Forest Park Georgia has the lowest median credit card debt, at $917 – 8.7 times lower than Darien, Connecticut, which has the highest median credit card debt ($7,935).
- Carmel, Indiana has the shortest debt payoff timeline, at 2 months and 1 day – 12.2 times shorter than Colleyville, Texas, whose 24 months and 28 days timeline is the nation’s longest.
- WalletHub projects that we will end 2018 with $70 billion more in credit card debt than we started with.
- We began the year owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt for the first time ever.
- The best balance transfer credit cards currently offer 0% APRs for the first 15-21 months with no annual fee and balance transfer fees as low as zero. Such deals likely will not be around for too much longer.