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10 States With the Highest Credit Card Debt per Person

Posted: 05/09/2012 3:47 pm

The credit card bill.

Whether you love it or hate it, if you've got a card -- and 2010 Census Bureau projections estimate that 181 million Americans do -- you likely see one in your mail or inbox every month.

Some card holders won't feel the stinging interest charges, though. A 2009 study from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation said that 49 percent of credit card holders don't carry a balance. Many in this camp are just using credit cards to build credit or simply as a convenience. Many more use cards to rack up reward points for vacation and cash back perks.

But a small majority of card holders do carry a balance on their credit cards, the study reported. And the debts can be significant. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans had more than $800 billion in outstanding credit card debt at the end of 2011.

So how much credit card debt do most people really have? That all depends on the state you're talking about.

Here are the top 10 states that held the most credit card debt per capita at the end of 2011, according to a February 2012 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

10. Massachusetts -- $3,360 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,430

  • 2006:3,680

  • 2001:3,000

9. Virginia -- $3,400 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,450

  • 2006:3,380

  • 2001:3,140

8. Maryland -- $3,420 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,490

  • 2006:3,390

  • 2001:3,150

7. New York -- $3,440 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,510

  • 2006:3,730

  • 2001:3,210

6. New Hampshire -- $3,450 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,510

  • 2006:3,750

  • 2001:2,950

5. Connecticut -- $3,510 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,540

  • 2006:3,660

  • 2001:3,100

4. Colorado -- $3,560 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,720

  • 2006:3,880

  • 2001:3,030

3. Hawaii -- $3,580 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,650

  • 2006:3,650

  • 2001:3,080

2. New Jersey -- $3,690 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:3,690

  • 2006:3,780

  • 2001:3,360

1. Arkansas -- $4,060 in credit card debt per capita in 2011

Previous years' totals:

  • 2010:4,180

  • 2006:4,510

  • 2001:3,540

[InvestingAnswers Feature: 10 U.S. States with the Lowest Unemployment Rates]

By Christian Hudspeth

 
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