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Cities with the highest average credit card balances

Many Massachusetts residents are struggling to make their credit card payments, but a study from CreditCards.com reveals that individuals and families in other parts of the country have even more serious revolving debt problems. The consumer financial advice website looked at how much the residents of America's 25 most populous cities and regions owed to credit card companies and how long a worker earning average wages would take to pay this debt off, and Boston ranked sixteenth with an average balance of $6,455.

The figures suggest that credit card debt is an especially serious problem in Texas. Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio occupied the second, fourth and fifth places on CreditCards.com's list, and paying this debt off would take workers in these cities at least 19 months. Boston residents earning the area's median wage would have their revolving debt balances cleared in 14 months.

Calculations were performed using an interest rate of 13 percent, which CreditCards.com took from the Federal Reserve's most recent consumer credit report. However, most financial experts expect revolving debt to become even more expensive in the months ahead as interest rates continue to rise. Analysts are also worried because credit card debt is increasing despite a resurgent economy and low rates of unemployment.

Credit card balances often soar following unexpected financial setbacks like illnesses or layoffs, and spiraling levels of debt can seem inescapable to struggling families. However, the nation's bankruptcy laws were drafted to provide second chances and not punish misfortune or poor decisions. Attorneys with debt relief experience could explain the steps involved in filing a personal bankruptcy petition and how doing so puts an end to harassing calls from bill collectors.

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