The truth is out there. Many of us probably have that pesky credit card stuffed somewhere in the back of our wallets or purses that we still haven’t paid off. Maybe we took it out to help pay off school loans, or buy that first car, boat or luxury item. Whatever the case, a key statistic that many of which many of us aren’t aware of is that location can play a very significant role in our ability to carry and pay off credit card debt.
Wallethub recently conducted a study measuring credit card debt in 2,537 U.S. cities. The study found that location factors in increase of credit card debt, pay-off time, income level, and other associated costs
Photo: Flickr/Andres Rueda
With the 99th percentile being the worst rank, there were several cities tied for last. The #1 criteria for the worst/best ranking was the number of months it took for the debt to be paid off. Of the 99th percentile, West Chester, Pennsylvania had the longest average time to pay off at 192 months. San Marcos was the only Texas city ranked in the 99th percentile at an average debt of $4,977 and 133 months to pay off.
Here is how some other Texas cities stacked up. Houston scored in the 79th percentile with a total average payoff of 56 months. Austin ranked in the 75th percentile with a 54 month payoff time and $2,436 average cost left to pay off. Dallas was placed in the 90th percentile, Brownsville was in the 81st percentile, El Paso was in the 89th percentile and Lubbock scored in the 95th percentile with an average payoff at 76 months.
Photo: Flickr/Mindaugas Danys
The accumulation of credit card debt has been linked to certain daily behaviors and habits amassed over time. In theory, if we can predict these behaviors, we can work on them and thus eliminate them. This means we could also eliminate our debt sooner rather than later. Benjamin Keys, an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago suggests that, “understanding individuals’ self-control problems is crucial to understanding indebtedness.”