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Bay Staters rank fourth lowest in average credit card debt burden

At this time of year, many Massachusetts residents are waking up to find holiday spending has caused a spike in their credit card debt. Large balances on personal credit cards can lead to serious financial challenges. But, on average, people in Massachusetts have a less serious problem with credit card debt than those in the other 49 states.

A recent study by the website found that residents of the Bay State ranked fourth lowest nationally when it came to the burden of credit card debt. The website compared average card balances to median incomes in each state. States were then ranked by how long it would take a resident to pay off the average card balance if they devoted 15 percent of their earnings to credit card payments.

According to the study, the average credit card balance in Massachusetts is $5,565. Median earnings in the state are $38,648 per year. Based on these figures, it would take the average Massachusetts resident 13 months to pay off their balance.

Using the same analysis, the state with the highest average credit card burden was Alaska, followed by New Mexico. The state with the lowest average time to pay off balances was North Dakota. Iowa and Minnesota came in second and third lowest, followed by Massachusetts.

When credit card debt gets out of control, filing for bankruptcy is a potential option. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor can wipe out credit card debt and get a new lease on life financially.

Source: Wisconsin Radio Network, "Wisconsinites have fifth lowest average credit card debt," Dec. 27, 2016

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