The Most Debt-Ridden Cities

Cities in Red

The recession may technically have ended, but that doesn't mean that Americans aren't still making up for past mistakes. As of the last quarter of 2010, the Federal Reserve found that outstanding credit card debt in the nation totaled $790 billion, a number that gets a bit scarier when you start to break down what it means state by state or, worse, city by city. New research conducted by credit reporting agency Equifax found that residents in many major metropolitan areas collectively owe between 12% to 17% of their yearly incomes to creditors. And while no one region is responsible for the bulk of the unpaid bills, six states - Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington and California - have been particularly hard-hit by their poor use of credit. People in California, for example, have a total of $90,566,978,302 in unpaid credit card balances on the books at the end of the third quarter of 2010. But drilling down, what major cities are the furthest in the red? Photo Credit: valeblos


Credit Crunch

To figure out credit card debt by city, Equifax analyzed quarterly data on consumers with more than one credit line on file. The information was sourced from a sample of Equifax's credit database and used to bring to light trends for the overall population. Equifax uses geographical standards set by the Office of  Management and Budget (OMB) to define the metro areas included in their rankings, standard for all government bureaus. This ranking is based not on which metro areas currently owe the most, but rather which cities’ residents owe the highest proportion of their average yearly income to credit card companies. Read on to find out which parts of the country are the most debt-ridden. Photo Credit: alancleaver2000


10th Most Debt-Ridden: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Median Household Income: $42,869 Number of Households: 192,420 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,251,741,211 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $6,505 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 15.17% Photo Credit: The Consumerist


9th Most Debt-Ridden: Fayetteville, N.C.

Median Household Income: $42,506 Number of Households: 126,723 Total Credit Card Debt: $826,134,677 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $6,519 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 15.34% Photo Credit: Synthetic Dreamer


8th Most Debt-Ridden-Ridden: Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio/Pa.

Median Household Income: $39,304 Number of Households: 222,864 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,368,939,269 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $6,142 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 15.63% Photo Credit: Tony the Misfit


7th Most Debt-Ridden: Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.

Median Household Income: $42,106 Number of Households: 170,817 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,135,798,097 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $6,649 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 15.79% Photo Credit: shutterbug fotos


6th Most Debt-Ridden: Ashville, N.C.

Median Household Income: $39,884 Number of Households: 175,769 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,130,287,328 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $6,431 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 16.12% Photo Credit: xJasonRogersx


5th Most Debt-Ridden: El Paso, Texas

Median Household Income: $33,126 Number of Households: 240,173 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,284,799,280 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $5,349 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 16.15% Photo Credit: Paul Garland


4th Most Debt-Ridden: Duluth, Minn.

Median Household Income: $38,392 Number of Households: 113,125 Total Credit Card Debt: $725,980,867 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $6,418 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 16.72% Photo Credit:  Adamsfelt


3rd Most Debt-Ridden: Toledo, Ohio

Median Household Income: $44,349 Number of Households: 256,349 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,900,624,501 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $7,414 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 16.72% Photo Credit:  Starley2


2nd Most Debt-Ridden: Canton-Massillon, Ohio

Median Household Income: $40,912 Number of Households: 160,098 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,128,641,781 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $7,050 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 17.23% Photo Credit:  tbower


Most Debt-Ridden: Wilmington, N.C.

Median Household Income: $42,392 Number of Households: 152,725 Total Credit Card Debt: $1,117,169,053 Average Credit Card Debt Per Household: $7,315 Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies: 17.26% Photo Credit: Matt Seppings


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