The Most Debt-Ridden Cities

MainStreet

The recession may technically have ended, but that doesn't mean that Americans aren't still making up for past mistakes. As of the last quarter of 2010, the Federal Reserve found that outstanding credit card debt in the nation totaled $790 billion, a number that gets a bit scarier when you start to break down what it means state by state or, worse, city by city.

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New research conducted by credit reporting agency Equifax found that residents in many major metropolitan areas collectively owe between 12% to 17% of their yearly incomes to creditors. And while no one region is responsible for the bulk of the unpaid bills, six states -- Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington and California -- have been particularly hard-hit by their poor use of credit. People in California, for example, have a total of $90,566,978,302 in unpaid credit card balances on the books at the end of the third quarter of 2010.

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But drilling down, what major cities are the furthest in the red?

Credit Crunch

To figure out credit card debt by city, Equifax analyzed quarterly data on consumers with more than one credit line on file. The information was sourced from a sample of Equifax's credit database and used to bring to light trends for the overall population.

Equifax uses geographical standards set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to define the metro areas included in their rankings, standard for all government bureaus.

This ranking is based not on which metro areas currently owe the most, but rather which cities' residents owe the highest proportion of their average yearly income to credit card companies. Read on to find out which parts of the country are the most debt-ridden.

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1. Wilmington, N.C.

Median household income: $42,392

Number of households: 152,725

Total credit card debt: $1,117,169,053

Average credit card debt per household: $7,315

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 17.26%




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2. Canton-Massillon, Ohio

Median household income: $40,912

Number of households: 160,098

Total credit card debt: $1,128,641,781

Average credit card debt per household: $7,050

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 17.23%




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3. Toledo, Ohio

Median household income: $44,349

Number of households: 256,349

Total credit card debt: $1,900,624,501

Average credit card debt per household: $7,414

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.72%




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4. Duluth, Minn.

Median household income: $38,392

Number of households: 113,125

Total credit card debt: $725,980,867

Average credit card debt Per household: $6,418

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.72%




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5. El Paso, Texas

Median household income: $33,126

Number of households: 240,173

Total credit card debt: $1,284,799,280

Average credit card debt per household: $5,349

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.15%




6. Asheville, N.C.

Median household income: $39,884

Number of households: 175,769

Total credit card debt: $1,130,287,328

Average credit card debt per household: $6,431

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.12%

7. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.

Median household income: $42,106

Number of households: 170,817

Total credit card debt: $1,135,798,097

Average credit card debt per household: $6,649

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 15.79%

8. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio/Pa.

Median household income: $39,304

Number of households: 222,864

Total credit card debt: $1,368,939,269

Average credit card debt per household: $6,142

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 15.63%

9. Fayetteville, N.C.

Median household income: $42,506

Number of households: 126,723

Total credit card debt: $826,134,677

Average credit card debt per household: $6,519

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 15.34%

10. Winston-Salem, N.C.

Median household income: $42,869

Number of households: 192,420

Total credit card debt: $1,251,741,211

Average credit card debt per household: $6,505

Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 15.17%

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