10 States With the Highest Credit Card Debt

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

While one U.S. state in particular (No. 1 on this list) continues to have a bad track record when it comes to excessive credit card debt, American consumers in general are known for getting carried away when paying with plastic. Among American households with at least some amount of credit card debt, the balance is an average of more than $15,000.

It’s not a subject most Americans are comfortable discussing, either. In a March 2013 poll for CreditCards.com, 85% of respondents said they were unlikely or somewhat unlikely to talk with a stranger about credit card debt, making it the most taboo subject surveyed, even more off-limits than religion, politics, salary, or love life. In certain states, it’s likely an even touchier subject.

Credit.com recently reported on the states with the highest average credit card debt, based on data gathered by Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports. The 10 states are ranked based on the highest average credit card debt per cardholder. Experian’s data, which covers Q3 of 2014, measures the change from the previous quarter as well the change from the same quarter of the previous year.

According to Experian’s research, the average credit card balance among individual U.S. cardholders was $3,769 in Q3 of 2014, increasing slightly from $3,734 in Q3 of 2013. Every state in the top 10, however, shows an average of more than $4,000 per cardholder.

To be clear, the following figures represent the average outstanding balances for the quarter. These credit card balances aren’t necessarily late or incurring interest. All cardholders that actively use their cards incur a balance every month during the billing cycle, even if they pay it off on time. Here are the states with the most credit card debt, based on data provided by Credit.com.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

10. Colorado

  • Average credit card debt per cardholder: $4,152
  • Change since previous quarter: +$19
  • Change since previous year: -$21
  • Rank in 2013: No. 8

9. Rhode Island

  • Average debt: $4,178
  • Change since previous quarter: +$46
  • Change since previous year: +$59
  • Rank in 2013: No. 10

8. Virginia

  • Average debt: $4,225
  • Change since previous quarter: +$50
  • Change since previous year: +$79
  • Rank in 2013: No. 9

7. Georgia

  • Average debt: $4,251
  • Change since previous quarter: +$25
  • Change since previous year: +$14
  • Rank in 2013: No. 7

6. Delaware

  • Average debt: $4,272
  • Change since previous quarter: +$66
  • Change since previous year: +$15
  • Rank in 2013: No. 5

5. District of Columbia

  • Average debt: $4,332
  • Change since previous quarter: +$56
  • Change since previous year: +$84
  • Rank in 2013: No. 6

4. Maryland

  • Average debt: $4,355
  • Change since previous quarter: +$36
  • Change since previous year: +$50
  • Rank in 2013: No. 4

3. Connecticut

  • Average debt: $4,500
  • Change since previous quarter: +$66
  • Change since previous year: +$71
  • Rank in 2013: No. 3

2. New Jersey

  • Average debt: $4,593
  • Change since previous quarter: +$79
  • Change since previous year: +$63
  • Rank in 2013: No. 2

1. Alaska

  • Average debt: $4,653
  • Change since previous quarter: +$44
  • Change since previous year: -$7
  • Rank in 2013: No. 1

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