Here's How Your State Ranks On Credit Card Debt Per Household

Tyler Durden's picture

As parents all around the country wake up this morning and instantly regret adding $1,000's of dollars to their credit cards over the holidays (at a 30% interest rate nonetheless) so that little Johnny could have the latest iPad, gaming console and sneakers, here is a list of the states where consumers have racked up the most revolving debt.

Ironically, when color coded based on political preference, with the notable exception of Alaska, Democratic-leaning states seem to carry higher credit card debt balances than conservative states.  Imagine that, conservatives expect their government to run budgets the way they run their own households.

Credit Debt by State


Meanwhile, as MarketWatch points out, in the worst states it would take the average family over a year and a half to pay off their credit debt if they contributed 15% of their median income to debt repayment.  But who wants to pay down credit card debt anyway?  We can't very well have economic growth if people are unwilling to borrow all the way up to the point that they can no longer afford the minimum payment...right, Janet?

Credit Cards


According to ValuPenguin, millennials carry an average credit card balance of $5,800 while, shockingly, even those American's past retirement age are carrying credit card balances over $6,000 well into their 70's. 

Credit Debt By Age


And, of course, the more you make the more you borrow...because why not?

Credit Debt by Income


Meanwhile, Experian's State of Credit 2016 report highlights the top/bottom 10 cities in the United States based on credit score.  Minnesota and Wisconsin absolutely dominate that the top 10 list while California, Texas and Louisiana account for 8 out of the 10 worst cities.

Credit Ratings


Oh well, at least little Johnny will love the new Xbox and sneakers for at least a week and it made for a great Facebook pic!

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PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Dec 26, 2016 4:50 PM

Why is it shocking that people who are going to die soon would carry a lot of debt?


It sucks to leave your earthly belongings to the bank and the state - fuck them. 

No debt, and a will give as much as legally possible to the person or charity of your choice.


JRobby's picture

Max the cash advances, leave the country

CorporateCongress's picture

Pretend to go on holiday, max 'em out and never go back

Paul Kersey's picture

I know this is not a politically correct observation, but at a glance, it appears that the top 10 cities with the best credit ratings are demographically predominantly white, and the bottom 10 cities with the worst credit ratings are demographically predominantly non-white.

Kefeer's picture

When you are dead you won't be worried about anything in this life; you came with nothing and leave the same.

stacking12321's picture

not quite.

you come into the world with specific parents, specific genetics, specific surroundings and opportunities.

and how do you know you won't be worried once you're dead, do you speak from experience?

how many times have you died, so far?

Canoe Driver's picture

I would say all the difference in the world can be made by how much you arrive with. The dead don't worry and you can't take it with you, but it's all about what you arrive with. Most arrive with nothing, true, but, let's say, for example, Dubya Bush or Chelsea Clinton. Unless someone can argue convincingly for their respective brilliance, I would say these two were born with everything they'll ever have.

sun tzu's picture

Sell your house. Don't hold anything in your name that they can take after you die. Everything goes to your family except to $1 million debt you ran up on credit cards. Fuck the system because it fucked you. They can take your 12 year old car as settlement for the $1 million. 

Killdo's picture

it would be useful to compile a list of such rebellious actions for as many people as possible - how to die happy and fuck the banks

mkkby's picture

You are pretty clueless if you think somebody is gonna give you a $1 million credit line. 

If having $5-10k in credit card debt (and all that stress) sounds like a fun retirement, go to town dumb ass.

canisdirus's picture

What are you, a pauper? Between all the CCs that have been issued to my wife and I, we could go well over $150k in debt if we wanted to.

It would be an interesting idea if one of us died, the other was terminal, and we had already moved all assets off the books, to put all end-of-life care on cards, because it's not like they could repo it.

May have to try this in like 60-70 years.

Canoe Driver's picture

FYI my credit score is literally 835 and I've never had more than about $100k in unsecured credit lines. $1M therefore seems a bit much.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Credit card debt is unsecured. A Will leaves 50% to the gummint, IOW, the banks.

cageysea's picture

Because it's irresponsible and immoral.


Get fucked by big business, no fun at all.
Or, fuck them over by paying cash for what you can actually afford - this is priceless.

ghengis86's picture

In God we trust; all others pay cash.

And double down on Christmas; buy guns, gold, ammo, knives, tools, practical stuff your friends and family can use to build things (skills, wealth, etc.)...and pay cash!

Death to the money changers!

cageysea's picture

And simply choose to consume less. 

Tapeworm's picture

 Forty years ago I had 1200 in bank debt for a Triumph T100R  bike. I "bought" a house too, thirty five years past.

 The bike debt went away in eight months and the house debt went away in twelve years.

 Every year I piss away 100k-270k on a CNC machine that are all bought with savings.

 My wife does not really get why she is in such a better position than her debtor pals. Retirement of the mortgage at less than half of the alloted period made surprisingly little impression upon her.  Having debt at over 60 years of age is for fools.

 I have no sympathy for boomers that carry debt, and especially none for those on SS. Rot in Hell.

I am Jobe's picture

People chose slavery . Even Texas is pussified

sun tzu's picture

Notice all the cities in TX full of debt are near the border. My bet is it's millions of illegals running up credit card debt while saving cash to take back home. They will use the money to buy a nice truck and casa in Mejico and give the finger to the bankers. 

Calmyourself's picture

Alaskans run up debt in the winter as most income comes during summer; fishing, lumber, tourism etc..

canisdirus's picture

A lot of rural areas of BC run the same way. I know some wacky old hippies that moved up there to avoid going to 'Nam that somehow became citizens and their finances frankly scare me. They make about CAD300k in 3 months during their peak season, then they have a year-round store that is basically a charity case to keep a near-constant "loss" on their books. During the peak season through about 3 months later, it's a constant drug, drinking, and food party while they burn through all their profits. The next 6 months they live pretty frugally off one CC and keep the shop running using cash advances on another. A CC cash advance or title loan is used to "prime the pump" every year to get the cash flowing again.

It's mind boggling.

Of course, the most impressive game player I met up there was in tech in a small town. There was one employer. Everyone in tech there knew and had worked for the one employer on a seemingly perpetual merry-go-round of hire for a project, contract canceled/completed, layoff, collect benefits of some kind, then start the cycle over again. The company virtually employed about twice as many people as ever worked there at any one time with this system and all the people that worked for them basically got 6 months of paid vacation a year as they went through this continual rotation. I wouldn't be surprised if this scam was still running.

Killdo's picture

good to see at least someone is screwing the criminal banksters at their own game

hxc's picture

As a right winger from CA... fuck you man. My credit card debt is a measly $300 and i pay that much off any paycheck if i rack it up.

CorporateCongress's picture

I dislike charts with axis that don't start at 0. Unless there is damn good reason. Not so much here as 0 is a pretty good baseline for a debt chart

techpriest's picture

I agree. Iowa CC debt is a little more than half Alaska CC debt, but the chart makes it look like a factor of 10 difference.

Either way, even at my very lowest point in life, when I was standing in a charity line for food (basically irresponsibility collided with the steering and brakes going out on my truck at the same time), I still had only about $2,500 in CC debt. I don't have any consumer debt now, hoping to say no debt period in 2017. I've been doing the numbers for the year and seeing how much income is going to be freed up when nothing has to go to the bank.... now I really see what "debt slavery" is.

Lost in translation's picture

Friend of mine in Phoenix shared with me a year or two ago that his credit cards are maxed out, and he has ballpark $30,000 in debt.  Yet he *had* to have the brand-new, 5-speed Ford Mustang (on payments), and keeps buying military surplus firearms (has around 200, yet still buying).

So I said to him, "Mike, you're in serious debt trouble.  You need to pick a couple of guns you really enjoy and sell the rest, while values are high, and pay off that debt."

"No," he replied.  "I sold off my collection when I lost my job in 2008.  Now that I'm back on my feet, I'll never sell again.  I'd rather starve in the street."

So next I said, "well then, trade in the Mustang while the mileage is still low and get a used Toyota, something factory-certified that won't cost you blood to fuel and insure.  Get rid of that monthly payment."

"No," he said.  "I want to give it to my son as his high school graduation present."  To date his son does not know how to drive stick, or even have his DL.  He is 17.

My friend tells me how he plans to leave Phoenix and buy a house up in Yavapai County, next summer.  He has no savings but his girlfriend has $80,000 for a down, but it comes with an engagement ring, basically.

What's going to happen to him as rates tick higher?

Blows my mind that people are able to successfully live this way...



BSHJ's picture

How do you buy military surplus firearms? 

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

But ISIS doesn't buy military surplus. All they have to do is regularly pray to Petro d'Allah. When their prayers are heard, the archangel Seewahn Thirti appears and weaponry gently falls to them from the skies above.

Lost in translation's picture

Gunbroker, shows, wherever.  Transfer through 01 FFL.

We're talking functional relics (Garands, Mausers, et al).

all-priced-in's picture


Google C&R  - Curios & Relics is a good start.


Just about anyone with a clean record can get a FFL03 - Federal Firearms License 03  for C&R guns -


It use to cost $35 and was good for 3 years - I had one - let it lapse. 


Once you get the FFL03 you send a copy of it to the gun dealer - and they can ship C&R rated guns directly to your home no need for an additional background check - no extra transfer fee. The FFL03 pays for itself after about 2 gun purchases.

There are dozens of companies that sell them - and many are super cheap and fun to shoot.

But be warned - you may end up with many guns. I had a whole closet full of old military guns - I have since sold off most of them.







ClassicalLib17's picture

Become a member of the Civilian Marksmanship Program(CMP), for one.

techpriest's picture

The funny thing is, if he got out of the debt now, in probably just a couple years he could have all of that back, with no debt, and even with a basic savings account everything "costs less" than list price because you are spending earnings + interest, again rates suck but it's a free 1%. Or you can take some chances and invest the money in one way or another.

Meanwhile, when you are in debt, you have to spend the price of the good, plus credit card interest, so your friend is probably paying a 50-200% overage on everything, depending on how many years it take to roll over the CC debt (15-25% interest annually - ouch!).

That's what snapped me out of credit cards. In college we were doing engineering economics and I learned how to calculate payments, present value, and future value. Once you start putting the numbers in for each approach the scam jumps right out at you - I'm not paying the equivalent of 2 sports cars just to have 1!

Lost in translation's picture

^ truth

As it is, he can only make the minimum payments on each card, plus $100.

techpriest's picture

When you go bankrupt you go to court. Your creditors may sue you to seize whatever they can get. And 200+ guns and a nice car are substantial assets that could help recoup the loss to the creditor.

Killdo's picture

so it only works if you have nothing? What if you use the money to buy a small sailboat (and live on it) - would that count as your home? Would they be able to reposses it? 

is there a way to hide your assets so they can take nothing back? 

mkkby's picture

They can pretty much take anything except the clothes on your back.  The car has a lien, so that goes right back to the dealer (at a loss).

You could sell everything, empty your bank account, and buy gold.  Then have a boating accident.  But you better have a damn good story, because if the judge smells fraud you can be held in contempt/prison until you cough up.

techpriest's picture

It depends on the state. A number of states will let you keep up to a certain amount of house (IIRC Florida is the most generous on this), but if you have a bigger house than allowed you will have to sell it.

Like mkkby said, if you actively try to hide assets (I'm thinking of a particular YouTube series of a guy telling people to buy silver on credit cards and declare bankruptcy) it is fraud, which turns a financial problem into a criminal charges.

In so many words, the man in question is either going to sell his 200 guns and his nice car now, get out of debt, and move on with life, or the repo men and the courts will make him do it. Personally I would rather stay in control of the situation if I was in his shoes, and bite the bullet now. If he declares bankruptcy he might still have his house but he will probably lose a lot of what's in it.

Killdo's picture

thanks for the advice (I don't own anything to anyone  - it's just a theoretical question). 

So if you borrow and spend all that money - and go bankrupt - they can't do anything? Because you spent it all and have nothing left. As long as the debt is not secured like credit cards?

Is that how it works?

silverer's picture

Now in process of switching to all pre-paid cards, business and personal. So when I'm asked "What's in your wallet?", I can answer "None of the banks." GoldMoney. My money is NOT in a bank. The MasterCard draws on an owned balance of physical gold bullion. Banks are out. PM's are in. Banks aren't safe. FDIC cannot cover a system wide bank failure. They have nowhere near enough money.

northern vigor's picture

I went to buy a prepaid VISA card for my college age daughter, for Christmas...they charge $15 to activate it. 

I gave her $515 cash.


techpriest's picture

So how is using GoldMoney? I was thinking about starting with them. How does it work out when doing taxes?

gatorengineer's picture

Ok, there was a meme out there that folks were financing their lifestyle on cards.  These numbers would appear shockingly low to me.... anyone else?