Which city ranks highest for average credit card debt compared to income?

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Which city in the U.S. is the most burdened with credit card debt? A new poll by CreditCards.com reveals just that, assessing the debt burden of the top 25 metropolitan areas. But the discussion goes further than just which city has the highest average credit card debt because a big factor in the study’s rankings include the median income in the area, showing the true disparity between debt and earnings. It also tabulates how many months it would take to pay off that debt based on a 15% interest rate and the average earnings in that city.

Based on those factors, it looks like three Texas cities rank at the top (the worse) for average debt combined with lowest earnings: San Antonio, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Houston.

It’s interesting to note that the overall gap between highest and lowest average debts wasn’t that large – only about $900. However, median earnings differ by approximately $18,000, creating a huge chasm. And while plenty of California cities have residents with high average debt, as well as expensive cities like New York and Washington, Dc, San Francisco takes the cake as the most debt free combined with the highest wages.

Here is the complete list, and corresponding cities (in random order):

Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
Average Balance:  $4,839
Median Earnings:  $38,440
11 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $313
Overall rank:  8

Portland, Oregon
Average Balance: $4,434
Median Earnings:  $31,652
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest: $319
Overall rank:  16

Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, California
Average Balance: $4,298
Median Earnings:  $32,454
12 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $283
Overall rank:  9

Riverside-San Bernadino, California
Average Balance:  $4,137
Median Earnings:  $28,218
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $312
Overall rank: 15

Los Angeles, California
Average Balance:  $4,370
Median Earnings:  $30,427
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $323
Overall rank:  17

San Diego, California
Average Balance:  $4,638
Median Earnings:  $32,342
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $342
Overall rank:  20

Phoenix, Arizona
Average Balance:  $4,483
Median Earnings:  $31,589
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $327
Overall rank:  19

Denver, Colorado
Average Balance:  $4,821
Median Earnings:  $35,296
12 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $339
Overall rank:  14

Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
Average Balance:  $4,901
Median Earnings:  $32,291
14 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $382
Overall rank:  24

San Antonio, Texas
Average Balance:  $4,879
Median Earnings:  $27,491
16 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $448
Overall rank:  25

Houston, Texas
Average Balance:  $4,748
Median Earnings:  $31,919
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $363
Overall rank:  21

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Average Balance:  $4,358
Median Earnings:  $36,698
11 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $266
Overall rank: 4

St. Louis, Missouri
Average Balance:  $4,351
Median Earnings:  $31,721
12 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $306
Overall rank:  12

Atlanta, Georgia
Average Balance:  $4,845
Median Earnings:  $32,086
14 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $376
Overall rank:  23

Chicago, Illinois
Average Balance:  $4,576
Median Earnings:  $33,657
12 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $319
Overall rank:  13

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Average Balance:  $4,171
Median Earnings:  $31,149
12 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $287
Overall rank:  10

Detroit, Michigan
Average Balance:  $4,245
Median Earnings:  $31,164
11 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $297
Overall rank:  11

Tampa-St. Pete, Florida
Average Balance:  $4,352
Median Earnings:  $29,961
13 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $324
Overall rank:  18

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Average Balance:  $4,325
Median Earnings:  $27,453
14 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $351
Overall rank:  22

Washington, Dc
Average Balance: $5,046
Median Earnings:  $45,909
10 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $286
Overall rank:  3

Baltimore, Maryland
Average Balance:  $4,876
Median Earnings:  $40,604
11 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $301
Overall rank:  6

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Average Balance:  $4,663
Median Earnings:  $36,430
11 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $307
Overall rank:  7

New York, NY
Average Balance:  $4,661
Median Earnings:  $38,107
11 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $293
Overall rank:  5

Boston, Massachusetts
Average Balance:  $4,524
Median Earnings:  $39,458
10 months to pay off at 15% interest.
Cost of interest:  $267
Overall rank:  2

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