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Credit card splurge in December

By Janna Herron ·
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

Here's one more data point showing consumers piled on more credit card debt in the heat of the holidays.

Consumer credit advocate said residents in only nine states paid down their credit card debt in December from the previous month. Of those, six -- Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and Utah -- paid down less than 1 percent of their debt.

The states that put up the biggest increases in credit card debt from November to December were Delaware and Rhode Island, up 5 percent to $7,423 and $6,388, respectively. Arkansas and New Hampshire followed with 4 percent gains, and the Dakotas each saw 3 percent rises.

Overall, the state with the highest average credit card debt was Alaska with $7,937, according to On the other end, Wisconsin consumers boast the lowest average credit card balance at $5,062. (That still might be enough to put a dent in your household finances.)

The figures back up earlier reports from the Federal Reserve and First Data Corp. that showed increased credit card spending in November and December.

But here's some brighter news. Americans may have charged more, but they're keeping up with payments -- or at least Capital One cardholders are.

The credit card issuer said the percentage of credit card balances it wrote off as uncollectable fell to 3.98 percent last month from 4.29 percent in November. The credit card issuer also said fewer cardholders were late 30 days or more on their payments in December. That rate dropped to 3.66 percent in December from 3.73 percent the previous month.

Let's keep that trend going at least.

Have you paid off your holiday bills yet?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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1 Comment
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