Louisiana has third highest credit card debt burden in U.S. with average balance of $5,400

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A new report finds Louisiana has the third highest credit card debt burden in the country according to CreditCards.com. The report compares credit card debts and household incomes across all fifty states and Washington D.C. Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman says people in Louisiana live on a below-average household income.

“That was really a key part of our study which was to say like it’s not just how much you owe but also how many dollars you have at your disposal to pay it off.”

The state’s average credit card balance is $5,398 taking up to 21 months to pay it off. Louisiana ranked 47th in average household income with an average of $76,000 annually. The average credit card charges a record-high 21 percent. That’s nearly five percentage points higher than the beginning of last year. Rossman says people are making practical purchases with credit cards because of inflation and increasing their debt burden.

“More and more people are financing gas and groceries. I mean I totally get it. If you make minimum payments toward the average balance at the average rate, you’re going to be in debt for more than seventeen years. So we definitely want to pay it off way sooner than that.”

According to the report, six out of every 10 people with credit card debt have been in debt for at least a year, up from 50 percent a year ago. However, using a personal loan as a form of debt consolidation and working with a reputable nonprofit credit counseling agency can help make payments manageable. Rossman also suggests getting a zero percent balance transfer credit card.

“Open up a new card, and move your existing high-cost debt over to this new card. They have promotional rates lasting as long as twenty-one months without interest. So that could be a tremendous saving.”

Credit card rates rose more in 2022 than any other on record.

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