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Credit Card, Student Loans and Mortgage Debt in the U.S.

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Credit Card, Student Loans and Mortgage Debt in the U.S.




Which state’s residents carry the most debt in America? The map shows the big three of debt for each state: credit card, student loan and mortgage. To see the full data, click on a debt category and hover over a state or scroll through the list of all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

» MORE: How to pay off debt

Credit card debt

Americans have $703 billion in credit card debt alone, according to June 2015 data from the Federal Reserve.

Alaska has the highest credit card debt, with residents carrying an average revolving card balance of $5,081, data from Experian show. Meanwhile, Iowans have the lowest average credit card debt at $3,203.

But residents in most of the states with the highest average credit card debt also have high average incomes. In fact, the median household income of the top 10 states with the highest average credit card debt is 19% higher than the U.S. average. As well, most of these states have higher costs of living than the rest of the country and their residents have better than average credit scores.

Many of the states where the population has low average credit card debt, such as West Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi and Michigan, are more affordable places to live and residents have relatively low average incomes. Residents in the 10 states with the lowest credit card debt have median household incomes that are 6% lower than the national average.

To a certain extent, higher wealth and credit scores are common for states with residents carrying more credit card debt. So credit card debt isn’t necessarily a bad signal, as long as consumers know how to effectively use their credit.

Student loan debt

Student loan debt is already being talked about by candidates in the 2016 presidential race. This makes sense given that student loan debt has skyrocketed to nearly $1.2 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data.

Residents in New Hampshire owe the most in student loans with an average of $32,795, while New Mexico has the lowest average at $18,656, data from The Institute for College Access & Success show.

Some of the states with the highest average student loan debt, including New Hampshire, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have the lowest default rates. Meanwhile, several low-debt states — such as New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma and Arizona — have high default rates.

Check out NerdWallet’s resources for student loans for information on how to manage your debt.

Mortgage debt

For home-owning families, mortgages are usually the biggest source of debt. In June 2015, Americans had $8.1 trillion in mortgage debt, the Federal Reserve of New York reported.

Residents in the Washington, D.C., area have the highest average mortgage debt at $348,764, according to Experian. The concentrated housing market in the nation’s capital is expensive, resulting in higher average mortgages than in California, which is second on the list.

At the other end of the spectrum is West Virginia, where homeowners owe an average of $107,405 on their mortgage. In this state, the median home value is the nation’s second lowest at $103,200, which is 41% lower than the median home value in the U.S.

To learn about mortgages and buying a home, see NerdWallet’s Mortgage & Homebuying Guide.

» MORE: How to pay off debt

Credit card, student loans and mortgage debt

Scroll through the chart below to see debt data for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

State Average revolving
credit card debt
Credit card debt rank Average student loan debt Student loan debt rank Average mortgage debt Mortgage debt rank
Alabama $3,781.14 24 $28,895 12 $136,154.26 34
Alaska $5,081.34 1 $28,570 13 $204,658.90 10
Arizona $3,806.99 20 $22,253 45 $180,070.36 14
Arkansas $3,573.87 41 $25,375 31 $121,368.02 43
California $3,766.33 27 $20,340 49 $302,521.48 2
Colorado $4,151.98 8 $24,520 36 $196,603.10 12
Connecticut $4,143.08 9 $30,191 6 $202,035.81 11
Delaware $3,919.01 15 $32,571 2 $157,730.91 23
District of Columbia $4,157.74 7 $22,048 47 $348,764.23 1
Florida $3,790.67 22 $24,017 40 $167,964.01 17
Georgia $4,060.44 12 $24,517 37 $162,916.66 20
Hawaii $4,251.24 2 $22,785 43 $236,124.68 3
Idaho $3,392.84 48 $26,622 23 $138,913.71 33
Illinois $3,738.34 32 $28,543 15 $164,155.74 19
Indiana $3,648.13 36 $28,466 16 $109,628.65 50
Iowa $3,203.24 51 $29,370 9 $113,742.01 49
Kansas $3,735.29 33 $26,229 27 $125,077.73 40
Kentucky $3,591.15 39 $24,693 34 $118,191.11 46
Louisiana $3,585.44 40 $23,358 41 $141,628.41 31
Maine $3,512.89 45 $29,934 7 $124,661.42 41
Maryland $4,083.74 11 $26,349 26 $224,362.42 4
Massachusetts $3,840.30 18 $28,565 14 $210,603.94 8
Michigan $3,516.88 44 $29,583 8 $121,450.70 42
Minnesota $3,765.56 29 $30,894 5 $154,896.66 25
Mississippi $3,416.53 47 $27,571 19 $119,129.52 44
Missouri $3,652.40 35 $24,957 33 $130,600.91 37
Montana $3,757.15 30 $27,568 20 $145,018.68 30
Nebraska $3,543.98 43 $26,490 24 $118,802.23 45
Nevada $3,898.48 16 $21,666 48 $188,410.59 13
New Hampshire $4,228.07 4 $32,795 1 $158,477.98 22
New Jersey $3,998.19 14 $28,109 18 $219,324.86 6
New Mexico $4,189.32 6 $18,656 50 $153,653.07 26
New York $3,805.83 21 $26,381 25 $212,049.04 7
North Carolina $3,773.88 25 $24,319 39 $152,853.78 27
North Dakota $3,375.52 49 N/A N/A $152,445.87 28
Ohio $3,595.30 38 $29,090 11 $115,239.94 48
Oklahoma $3,829.82 19 $22,174 46 $132,900.82 35
Oregon $3,755.95 31 $25,577 30 $178,713.61 15
Pennsylvania $3,766.13 28 $32,528 3 $126,348.52 39
Rhode Island $3,857.60 17 $31,561 4 $159,232.05 21
South Carolina $3,770.39 26 $29,092 10 $151,817.06 29
South Dakota $3,636.26 37 $25,750 29 $127,162.44 38
Tennessee $3,681.66 34 $24,585 35 $139,967.27 32
Texas $4,005.22 13 $25,244 32 $171,309.37 16
Utah $3,565.12 42 $22,418 44 $166,190.56 18
Vermont $3,784.30 23 $27,318 22 $132,676.77 36
Virginia $4,124.87 10 $25,780 28 $221,901.35 5
Washington $4,199.20 5 $24,418 38 $208,389.17 9
West Virginia $3,251.67 50 $27,320 21 $107,404.50 51
Wisconsin $3,505.14 46 $28,128 17 $117,961.43 47
Wyoming $4,244.73 3 $22,879 42 $156,568.55 24

 

Methodology

Average card debt data per resident in May 2015 are from Experian.
Student loan averages per graduate are from The Institute for College Access & Success and are for the 2012-13 academic year.
Average mortgage debt per household data in 2014 are from Experian.
Student loan debt data wasn’t available for North Dakota.

» MORE: Visit our credit card data page for more studies, surveys and statistics


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