When you swipe your credit card, you're usually guided by one of two rationales: convenience or reliance. Just 35 percent of U.S. credit card holders pay their balances in full each month, according to a study released by the Boston Fed, whereas the remaining majority accumulate revolving debt, averaging $4,717.
Essentially, we fall into two camps: those who swipe for rewards or ease, and those who swipe out of necessity.
For the most part, credit card debt is cyclical. Average household credit card debt tends to fall around tax season, as taxpayers put their refunds toward their balances, while the holidays create an uptick in household credit card burden, according to the Motley Fool.
The team at Credio wanted to see where Americans are most burdened by credit card debt. To do this, they used data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to analyze the amount of credit card debt per capita (amount attributable to all citizens) in each of the 50 U.S. states (data is representative of annual figures at the state level) and ranked them from lowest to highest. This list features the 10 states with the highest credit card debt per capita, along with the delinquency rate (measured as the percent of credit card debt that is 90 days or more delinquent).
Alaska and Hawaii, the states not included in the contiguous U.S., rank toward the top of this list. A higher cost of living and geographic isolation force residents in these states to pay more than the national average for many essentials, like health care and groceries. According to CareerTrends, Alaska's overall cost of living is 15 percent higher than the national average. In Hawaii, it's 36 percent higher. Housing costs in Alaska are 42 percent higher, health care is 33 percent above the national average and child care costs are 14 percent greater.
Note: Virginia, Connecticut and Hawaii tie for third place.