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Credit card debt comes down

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Looks like Americans are working on their New Year's resolutions to pay down holiday credit card debt.

A report from CreditKarma.com on Wednesday showed that the average U.S. consumer trimmed their credit card debt by 8 percent to $6,069 in January from December. Average credit card balances fell in every state except Wisconsin, where it rose by 4 percent to $5,266.

Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and West Virginia made the largest inroads by slashing credit card debt by 15 percent or more.

The state with the highest average balance on credit cards was Hawaii at $7,524, down only $3 from December's total. The union's tiniest state was followed by Alaska at $7,514 and Connecticut with $7,344.

Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia had the lowest credit card debt at $4,544, $5,070 and $5,110, respectively.

CreditKarma.com's report underscores findings from a consumer stress index released Wednesday by nonprofit credit counseling service CredAbility.

The index improved in the final quarter of last year with the credit portion of the index, which includes late credit card payments, delinquent loan payments and bankruptcy filings, proving to be the healthiest aspect of Americans' financial profile.

Only seven states were considered at-risk for credit deterioration, while the rest of the nation was either in good/stable or excellent/secure condition. Sadly, other factors such as housing, net worth, employment and household budget continue to weigh on the average consumer.

How are you handling your credit card debt? Do you even carry balances?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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4 Comments
Cindy R
February 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm

My son had about 22,000 in credit card debt in Nov of 2011 and he just paid it off last week. He got help at the website GetDebtAid.com hope that info can help others...I know he was stressed but he came through.