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San Antonio: City With the Most Credit Card Debt

This article was written by in Credit, Debt Reduction. 19 comments.


Experian is a credit reporting bureau, but it may be more accurate to characterize the company’s business as one focused on consumer information. The data they collect on people, even those with no relationship with the company, are substantial. This information was used to determine that the average consumer owed more than $4,200 in credit card debt in 2010.

Considering Experian’s methodology, it’s easy to legitimately dismiss that number. The company has very little data on people who do not have credit cards, so it’s fair to say that this number, if it amount is an average, is an average calculation for just those individuals or households that have credit card debt. It does include, however, those who pay off their bills in full every month, even though these credit card users have no revolving balances.

Using this information, the company ranked cities in the United States by average credit card debt. Here are the top 25 according to Experian’s study. Absent from this list are the major metropolises New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, where one might assume the majority of spending would take place.

1. San Antonio, Texas $5,177
2. Jacksonville, Florida $5,115
3. Atlanta, Georgia $4,960
4. Honolulu, Hawaii $4,939
5. Dallas, Texas $4,936
6. Norfolk, Virgina $4,925
7. Seattle, Washington $4,877
8. Austin, Texas $4,791
9. Richmond, Virginia $4,771
10. San Diego, California $4,673
11. Baltimore, Maryland $4,645
12. Columbus, Ohio $4,361
13. Denver, Colorado $4,608
14. Tallahassee, Florida $4,605
15. Colorado Springs, Colorado $4,601
16. Las Vegas, Nevada $4,599
17. Washington, D.C. $4,598
18. Augusta, Georgia $4,575
19. Reno, Nevada $4,575
20. Spokane, Washington $4,572
21. Savannah, Georgia $4,570
22. Phoenix, Arizona $4,559
23. Miami, Florida $4,555
24. Montgomery, Alabama $4,532
25. Orlando, Florida $4,525

CNN Money

Published or updated March 4, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar nimrodel ♦42 (Newbie)

Wow, I do feel really surprised that some of the bigger cities, especially in the northeast, aren’t in that list. No New York, no Boston, no Philadelphia? I guess it’s possible that for the really big cities, a lot of people live in the suburbs, so their numbers might not count for the cities themselves…

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avatar tbork84 ♦1,867 (Half-Dollar)

That is a really good point because some of the top cities definitely have areas that would be considered suburbs but are still counted as part of that city. In Boston for instance, the surrounding areas that would be considered part of Dallas proper are distinct cities.

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avatar SteveDH

I would like to see a deeper dive on this. One thing that concerns me is that out of the top ten, half have major military installations.

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avatar Jenna

Definitely an interesting list. Wonder who people in “small” cities amass so much debt – I thought cost of living is cheaper.

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avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

What a weird list. I’m surprised for see my former home of Richmond, VA on the list—it seemed such a conservative place.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

I’m surprised that my current residence of phoenix, arizona is so low on the list considering all the arrogant ignorant wannabe millionaires that live in scottsdale. I’m surprised that my hometown of detroit isn’t on the list considering the economic problems that MI has had & detroit being an economic wasteland.

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avatar The Latter-day Saver ♦706 (Dime)

This is one case where I don’t mind being below average!

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avatar gotr31 ♦224 (Cent)

Interesting! I thought Salt Lake City, UT was highest for bankruptcy in recent years and they aren’t on there.

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avatar The Latter-day Saver ♦706 (Dime)

If they declared bankruptcy, then they probably don’t have a credit card balance. That could be why they are not on the list.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

this is an interesting list, no doubt, but i would like to see more about how this is calculated.

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avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

Three cities are in the top 10 are in Texas. That seems weird to me because Texas’ economy wasn’t hit quite as hard during the recession as other states, although we did take our share of lumps.

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avatar tigernicole86 ♦55 (Newbie)

From what I’ve seen of the list, for the most part, these are cities that are growing in population/jobs. Really surprised not to see Cleveland on here but maybe the people here are a little bit more fiscally responsible. At least enough to stay out of the top 20.

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avatar Ed

Definately not suprised to see all of the major Florida cities on the list. Lived there for 15 years. I think the wages tend to be lower there than the rest of the nation, yet most people there cannot help but attempt to keep up with the jones. Obviouslly the is a very stereotypical statement, but after moving to another large city it did make it rather obvious how materialist people there can be in general.

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avatar 4hendricks ♦248 (Cent)

To many people are using credit cards to survive – these numbers are only going to go up.

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avatar dawgette ♦199 (Cent)

Two Georgia towns in Top 25. A Top 25 list that people would be better off not being on if people would live within their means. I guess for some that is easier said than done.

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avatar Cejay ♦1,521 (Half-Dollar)

Atlanta, Georgia is number 3 and where I live. Maybe, this is why all my friends seem to have so many nice, new things and I never hear the words “It is not in the budget”. They are so deep in debt they can’t see daylight. Sometimes, I wish we talked about things like this but it has always been a big No-No with my crowd. Money is off limits.

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avatar Craig

I’m a native of Michigan and was shocked to not see any Michigan cities on the list. Even though there are no cities on the list, Michigan is number 48 on the list of “best economies.” I guess the cities might be better off than the people of this state.

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avatar Kristina ♦141 (Cent)

So glad to see my city and area are not on the list!

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avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

The list is somewhat strange. I would think places like NYC would be on it. I’d like to know how they calculated these numbers, as well.

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