After a record-setting year for credit card debt reduction in 2020, U.S. consumers maintained their strong performance during the first quarter of 2021, paying off $56.5 billion in credit card debt, according to the personal-finance website WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Debt Study, released today.
Although credit card debt levels are becoming more manageable nationwide, some areas have bigger payment problems than others. With that in mind, WalletHub compared more than 180 of the largest cities based on how much residents owe to credit card companies – specifically, how those balances changed in Q1.
Please find key takeaways below, along with commentary from WalletHub experts (audio and video files included).
|Cities with the Biggest Debt Paydown||Cities with the Smallest Debt Paydown|
|Santa Clarita, CA||Fargo, ND|
|New York, NY||Buffalo, NY|
|Chesapeake, VA||Akron, OH|
|Chula Vista, CA||Cedar Rapids, IA|
|Pembroke Pines, FL||Milwaukee, WI|
|Pearl City, HI||Toledo, OH|
|Santa Ana, CA||Cleveland, OH|
|Virginia Beach, VA||Lewiston, ME|
|Rancho Cucamonga, CA||Madison, WI|
|Plano, TX||Detroit, MI|
Credit Card Debt Study Key Stats:
- Continued Debt Reduction. Credit card debt decreased by $56.5 billion during Q1 2021, following a record paydown of $82.1 billion in 2020.
- Bigger Paydown Than Normal. Consumers’ Q1 2021 credit card debt paydown was 51% larger than the post-Great Recession average for a first quarter.
- Rising Charge-Offs. At 2.95% for Q1 2021, the credit card charge-off rate is up by 14.3% compared to last quarter.
- Ease Your Debt. The best balance transfer credit cards currently offer 0% APRs for the first 15-20 months with no annual fee and balance transfer fees as low as 3%.