The City Where People Struggle Most to Pay Credit Cards


The average American carries more than three credit cards. Federal Reserve data shows that total credit card debt at the end of the third quarter was $800 billion. That is down from a peak of $927 billion at the end of 2019.

The number of people who cannot pay off their cards, or at least the monthly balances, almost certainly has dropped from the Great Recession, when unemployment reached 10%. However, many people still struggle to make these payments. This has helped turn credit rating into a huge industry. It also has caused many people to watch their credit scores like hawks.

WalletHub’s recently released “2022’s Cities With the Least Sustainable Credit Card Debt” report was based on data from one of America’s big three credit rating agencies, TransUnion. This agency got into trouble in 2017, along with rival Equifax, for misrepresenting people’s credit scores.

The WalletHub research covered America’s largest cities. The final calculation determined “the cost and time required to pay off the median card balances of more than 180 U.S. cities.”

The city where people required the longest time to pay off credit card debt was Miami at 89 months and 19 days. The median credit card debt for people there was $2,247. Hialeah, also in Florida, was next at 83 months and 12 days, and its median credit card debt figure was $1,911.

The city with the highest median credit card debt was Scottsdale at $3,441. The payoff time for people there was 54 months and 17 days. The city with the lowest median credit card debt was Detroit at $1,330. The payoff time for the Motor City was 38 months and 27 days.

At the far end of the spectrum, the city where people struggle the least with credit card debt is Fremont, California, where the time to pay off credit cards is 19 months and 17 days. The median credit card debt for the city is $1,944.

These are the 10 cities where people have the most trouble paying credit card debt:

City Median Debt Payoff Time
Miami, Fla. $2,247 89 months, 19 days
Hialeah, Fla. $1,911 83 months, 12 days
Knoxville, Tenn. $2,298 79 months, 10 days
Gulfport, Miss. $2,018 73 months, 28 days
Missoula, Mont. $2,242 73 months, 9 days
Dallas, Texas $2,458 72 months, 14 days
San Antonio, Texas $2,298 71 months, 11 days
El Paso, Texas $2,146 70 months, 18 days
Tucson, Ariz. $2,119 69 months, 5 days
Reno, Nev. $2,520 68 months, 28 days

Click here to see the states where people struggle most with debt.

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