Study: Income offsets debt, alleviating Jerseyans’ credit card burden

By Eric Strauss
New Jersey | Dec 5, 2019 at 4:45 am

When it comes to credit card debt, the average New Jerseyan isn’t as weighed down as national peers, according to a new study by CreditCards.com.

The Garden State had the 10th-lowest credit card debt burden in the U.S., as its third-highest median annual household income of $81,470 helped to offset its seventh-highest average credit card debt of $9,178. By using the recommended 15% of income to pay off debt, a New Jerseyan would take 10 months to pay the bill and face an average of $900 in interest.

Those numbers compared with national averages of $61,937 in income and $8,407 in credit card debt, with a 13-month paydown and $1,005 in interest.

The states with the highest debt burdens relative to income were:

  1. New Mexico, with a 17-month payoff and $1,339 in interest ($47,169 income, $8,356 debt);
  2. Louisiana, with a 17-month payoff and $1,318 in interest ($47,905 income, $8,364 debt);
  3. West Virginia, with a 17-month payoff and $1,194 in interest ($44,097 income, $7,641 debt).

In contrast, the states with the lowest debt burdens included:

  1. Massachusetts, with a nine-month payoff and $734 in interest ($79,835 income, $8,197 debt);
  2. Wisconsin, with a 10-month payoff and $683 in interest ($60,773 income, $6,898 debt);
  3. Minnesota, with a 10-month payoff and $711 in interest ($70,315 income, $7,564 debt).

“This study illustrates how your income has a huge effect on your ability to pay off your credit card debt,” CreditCards.com analyst Ted Rossman said in a prepared statement.

One interesting note: The study found that 22 of the 25 highest debt burdens belonged to “red states” that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, while 17 of the 25 lowest debt burdens belonged to “blue states” that voted for Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | acerimrat