The Cities With Residents Most Likely to Have 5 Digit Credit Card Balances

About 1 in 6 credit card holders in America’s biggest cities carry a balance of $10,000 or more, according to a new report from CompareCards, and none of those cities has a higher percentage of these cardholders than Bridgeport, Conn.

CompareCards analyzed a representative sample of Americans to see which of the 100 largest metros have cardholders with five-figure credit card balances. The study found that most of the cities with the biggest percentages of people with five-figure credit card debt are clustered along the East Coast and West Coast, and it’s often the wealthiest cities that carry the biggest card balances.

Key findings

  • The five-figure credit debt capital of the U.S.: Nearly 23 percent of credit card holders in the Bridgeport metropolitan area owe more than $10,000 on their cards. Almost 2 percent of cardholders in Bridgeport owe more than $50,000, which is also the highest among the nation’s 100 biggest metros. Virginia Beach; Washington, D.C.; and New York rounded out the top four, where 20.5 percent, 19.9 percent and 19 percent — respectively — of users have five-figure balances.
  • The five-figure credit card debt state: Among the top 10 cities with the highest percentages of five-figure card debt, three were in CaliforniaLos Angeles ranked fifth at 18.6 percent, San Diego placed seventh at 18.5 percent and Oxnard came in at ninth at 18.1 percent. Connecticut was a close runner-up in the state contest, with BridgeportHartford and New Haven all ranking in the top 14.
  • Five-figure card debts rarer in the South: Five of the seven cities with the lowest percentage of cardholders with five-figure card debt were in the South. Only 12.4 percent of cardholders in Winston-Salem, N.C. and Indianapolis had more than $10,000 in card balances. Greensboro, N.C.ChattanoogaKnoxville, Tenn.; and Jackson, Miss. were among the other cities near the bottom of the list, all having less than 13 percent of cardholders with five-figure card debts.

Top 10 places with 5-figure credit card balances

Rank

Metro

% of Card Holders with a Balance 
Over $10,000

% of Cardholders with a Balance 
Over $50,000

1

Bridgeport, Conn.

22.90%

1.90%

2

Virginia Beach, Va.

20.50%

0.60%

3

Washington, D.C.

19.90%

1.10%

4

New York

19.00%

1.00%

5

Los Angeles

18.60%

0.90%

6

Hartford, Conn.

18.50%

0.90%

7

San Diego

18.50%

0.90%

8

Albany, N.Y.

18.30%

0.70%

9

Oxnard, Calif.

18.10%

1.10%

10

Baltimore

18.00%

0.80%

Bottom 10 places with 5-figure credit card balances

Rank

Metro

% of Card Holders with a Balance 
Over $10,000

% of Cardholders with a Balance 
Over $50,000

100

Winston-Salem, N.C.

12.40%

0.50%

99

Indianapolis

12.40%

0.50%

98

Greensboro, N.C.

12.80%

0.40%

97

Colorado Springs, Colo.

12.80%

0.30%

96

Chattanooga, Tenn.

12.80%

0.50%

95

Jackson, Miss.

12.90%

0.50%

94

Knoxville, Tenn.

12.90%

0.40%

93

Grand Rapids, Mich.

13.00%

0.40%

92

Provo, Utah

13.10%

0.30%

91

Birmingham, Ala.

13.20%

0.20%

“When your credit card debt hits five figures, it’s crushing, and it can consume your life. I know. I’ve been there,” said Matt Schulz, Chief Industry Analyst at CompareCards. “But if you’re struggling with credit card debt, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Yes, life is crazy expensive in 2019, but there are steps you can take to help yourself. For example, a zero-percent balance transfer card can give you a reprieve from interest for a year or more. Handled wisely, that can save you a ton of interest and really shorten your total payoff time.”

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