Credit Card Debt hits $1.13 Trillion, Georgia Ranks High for Personal Debt

Journo Research

Friday, March 1st, 2024

  • Study shows Georgia has the eighth-highest debt in America, with high levels of credit card debt with an average of $6,265

  • Citizens of California ranked with the highest average debt in America, with average mortgage debt at $422,909

  • Hawaii ranks second for the most personal debt      

A new study has revealed that California is the state where residents have the most personal debt. 

Research by banking experts at CreditDonkey analyzed the average mortgage debt, student debt, automobile debt and credit card debt in every state. Each metric was ranked out of 10. The higher the amount of debt the closer to 10. Each state was then given a score out of 40; the higher the number the more debt a state has.  

Credit Card debt alone in America stands at over $1 trillion and is only set to rise in 2024. The reason is the increased need to delve into debt as prices of essentials and luxuries have risen considerably. These expenses alone drive up personal debt across the country, before even considering the huge student debt totaling over $1.7 trillion and auto loan debt being over $1.5 trillion.   

1. California - Debt Index: 35.28   

Californians are in the most debt according to data. California has the highest average mortgage debt with $422,909 per household; this could be attributed to the fact that California has some of the highest house prices in America, meaning that many people may need to take out larger mortgages to live there. Having a car in many places in America is also a necessity; thus, many people may have vehicle debt. In California, this averages around $23,262, one of the higher figures across the states.   

2. Hawaii - Debt Index: 34.67

 Hawaii is the state with the second most debt. On average Hawaiians have around $6,343 of credit card debt. Credit cards have become increasingly popular across the states, this is to fill in the gaps in purchasing power that occur when prices rise faster than income. As well as credit cards, there's been a huge increase in Buy Now Pay Later services so that people can afford things that they may not be able to pay for in one upfront lump sum. Hawaii also has high house prices, and so, much like California, has large average mortgage debt of $387,277.  

3. Maryland - Debt Index: 33.82

 Maryland is third on this list. This state has the largest student debt with the average being $43,116. Student debt has continued to rise across the states with college costs increasing long with the general cost of living people need to borrow more. On top of this for many who can’t pay off enough or their balance, interest is causing many people's loads to continue to rise even after college. Maryland also has a high average car debt at $22,809.  

4. Alaska - Debt Index: 33.30 

Alaska is fourth on this list; this is due to Alaska having the highest average credit card debt in America ($7,338). In America, the total credit card debt is over $1 trillion. This has been a continuous upward trend as Americans are being priced out due to drastic increases in costs. Alaskans also have high levels of automobile debt, averaging $25,846. 

5. Colorado - Debt Index: 33.06 

The average mortgage debt in Colorado is $319,981, one of the higher figures across America. As well as having high mortgage debt, Colorado also has a high average student debt at $36,939.  

6. Washington - Debt Index: 33.03 

Washington ranks sixth on this list, Washington has average house prices of $563,000, which is 66% more than the national average. Due to this, there is more mortgage debt in Washington ($331,658 on average). As well as mortgage debt, people in Washington have high levels of car debt, averaging $23,754. 

7. Virginia - Debt Index: 32.46   

Virginia follows in the trend of having high levels of credit card debt with the average being $6,477. Virginia also has high average student debt with the average being $39,599. The student loan debt balance in the U.S. has increased by 66% over the past decade, and it now totals more than $1.77 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. 

8. Georgia - Debt Index: 32.00 

Georgia is eighth in this list. With an average of $41,775, Georgia has some of the highest levels of student debt, which is much above the average across all states which is $35,215. Georgia also has above-average credit card debt at $6,265 (average $5,706). 

9. Texas - Debt Index: 31.79 

Texas is ninth on this list. More than 100 million Americans have a car loan, and auto loan debt in the U.S. currently stands at $1.5 trillion. Texas has the most automobile debt in America with an average debt of $27,739. Texans also have above-average credit card debt of $6,542.  

10. Nevada - Debt Index: 31.76 

 Nevada has the tenth highest levels of debt in America. The average mortgage debt across all states is $213,095; in Nevada, the average is above that at $275,352. Credit card debt is also above the average across all states ($5,706) standing at $6,176 in Nevada.  

Anna Ge, Director of Research at CreditDonkey commented:

“The rise of debt in America is a multifaceted story, reflecting the evolving dynamics of the economic landscape. As the nation has grown, so too have the complexities of the financial systems. The causes for the surge in debt are rooted in a confluence of factors – from the pursuit of higher education to home-ownership aspirations and the challenges of rising costs across the board.  

The ease of access to credit, while providing immediate relief, has contributed to a culture where spending can outpace income. This partly stems from consumerism, as many people are fuelled by a desire for a higher standard of living, which has also played a role in credit cards becoming a ubiquitous financial tool. 

There are also more deep-rooted issues that are causing such drastic increases in debt, from rising costs of essentials such as gas and groceries to healthcare and living expenses (rent and bills), as costs continue to rise many Americans are being pushed to the edge and require relief that inevitably results in the building up of debt.”