Using credit cards is such a normal part of the American way of life that most citizens do not stop and examine if they are actually good for the type of lifestyle they are living.
Comparing the use of credit cards to other countries in the world, it’s noticeable how Americans rely so much on the ‘plastics’ for their everyday spending and purchases. Determining whether credit card use is good for you or not is easy, just examine your monthly bill and check your balance. As for the entire country, research and a study done on the country’s credit card use has revealed a surprising total amount of credit card debt as well as the states who places first as the state with the highest amount of it.
ALASKA GETS FIRST PLACE
If the overall total amount of debt for 2017 will be the basis, it’s no question that California has the highest one with $106.8 billion. However to determine which state really has a problem with credit card debt, the information to be checked should be the one on a per capita basis. With that in mind, the great state of Alaska takes first place, with an average amount of $4,270 as credit card balance per individual. America’s icebox is closely followed by New Jersey with the with $3,910 per capita, while the island of Hawaii comes in as the third US state who has the worse credit card debt record with a per capita average of $3,860. This is actually not new to Alaska, since they have been placed first for credit card debts for some time now.
Looking at the data for the entire country’s credit card debt average, it’s at $6,375. Experts say that this number is an all time high (even the overall total credit card debt of $1 trillion) – Americans carry an average balance of $6,375. And Alaska by itself does not fall far behind with their $4,270. The question that will come to mind after finding out these credit card figures is, “why Alaska?”. There are definitely more people in other states, more choices for shopping, and other ways credit cards can be used. How come America’s last frontier came in first? To give explanation to that we have to take into consideration the average income of Alaskans. Yes, income does play a big part in finding out why the average credit card debt per person is higher in the said state.
ECONOMY IS TO BLAME
Do you know that Alaska also holds the number one spot with the highest unemployment rate at 7.3%? Therefore, credit card utilization is at its peak in the state due to economic reasons. When people lose their jobs or at least their working hours are decreased, the money to pay for their daily expenses is lesser as well, so they turn to credit cards. From groceries to paying for gas and bills, it’s credit card to the rescue for some Alaskans to fill up the income gap they are experiencing. So there is no surprise that when you see states struggling with their economy, their credit card debts are high as well.
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
There is not much to be said to states that have high credit card debts, advice should be given instead to people residing in them. No, you cannot solve your problem with your credit card balance by changing states; it does not work that way. Residents, after all, are the consumers and not the state. This is especially not applicable if you want to move to a different state just because you are incurring too much debt, living in your current place of residence.
Individuals who are usually experiencing layoffs should try this trick – once your work is good, and the pay, too, create a savings fund that you will only touch during emergencies, including losing your job. You can dip into your emergency savings to pay for stuffs instead of reaching out for your credit card and use it. There are more benefits to having small credit card balance aside from a low monthly interest fee. Lighter debts also translate to you getting a high credit score, something you can put to good use in the future – whether you intend to get other credit cards with special promos such as 0% APR or you plan to get a loan someday.