Which cities in America have been tightening their belts the most and getting down to the tough business of cutting their credit card debt? Turns out, consumers in areas where the recession hit hardest have been going down the most belt holes. Below, find the top 9 cities for credit card debt reduction.
On a year-over-year basis, nearly 60% of the 100 metropolitan areas that carried the most credit card debt saw significant declines in average balances judged as a percentage of income in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to new data from the credit reporting bureau Equifax. And the majority of those declines were observed in states hit hardest by the recession, including Florida, Louisiana, Washington and California. Florida had more cities with double-digit declines than any other state with five.
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“It is interesting that [areas] from some of the states hardest hit by the recession showed some of the biggest reductions in credit card debt,” said Trey Loughran, president of Equifax’s personal solutions business. “This suggests that consumers from these hardest hit areas have been especially cautious in their spending and diligent in paying down their credit card debt.”
Port St. Lucie saw the largest declines in debt as a percentage of income nationally, at 23.59%. Ocala, Florida, was next at just under 21%, while the Bremerton-Silverdale, Washington, and Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, areas were both above 20% as well.