The 9 US cities where people are mostly likely to max out their credit cards

Wendell Guy/ShutterstockBridgeport, Connecticut.
  • Loan comparison site LendingTree put together a list of the US cities with the most credit card debt, looking at the cities where the most people have at least one maxed out-credit card.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut tops the list, with almost a third of residents dealing with one maxed-out credit card, and one in 10 residents having multiple maxed-out cards.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

It doesn’t matter where you live in the US – from the deep south to New York City, credit card debt is a problem all over.

CompareCards by LendingTree looked at credit reports from 1.3 million Americans using its service with active credit card accounts to find cards with balances equal to or greater than the cards’ respective credit limits. It then looked at the number of accounts with at least one credit card equal to or exceeding its credit limit, and calculated the percentage of accounts which fell into this category within US metropolitan areas.

The cities are all over the US, from cities with low costs of living like Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi, to expensive cities like New York City. In the most-indebted city – Bridgeport, Connecticut – about one in three residents have at least one maxed out credit card, and one in 10 have more than one.

While these cities are all geographically different, they have one thing in common: very high debt-to-income ratios, according to calculations from Equifax and Q4 2018 Bureau of Labour Statistics data by the Federal Reserve Board of New York. In general, lenders define appropriate debt-to-income ratios as about .36 for homeowners, or.2 for renters, but many of the median debt-to-income ratios for people in these cities were between .51 and 1.81, well above the recommended amounts.

While credit card debt is a big problem in the US today, these nine cities are seeing it at very high rates. Here is each city’s percentage of residents with maxed-out credit cards, along the city’s median debt-to-income ratio.


9. New Orleans, Louisiana

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Credit card debt isn’t easy in the Big Easy, with one out of 10 residents dealing with multiple maxed-out cards.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 29.1%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 10.4%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.26


8. Birmingham, Alabama

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Birmingham, Alabama has slightly more credit card debt than New Orleans, but households here have the same debt-to-income ratio.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 29.2%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 10.4%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.26


7. San Antonio, Texas

AP Photo/Eric Gay

San Antonio residents deal with lots of credit card debt.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 29.2%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 11%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.37


6. Miami, Florida

travelview/Shutterstock

Miami residents face high costs of living and low wages, making it a city where money goes quickly and debt can add up just as fast.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 30.1%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 10%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.37


5. Jackson, Mississippi

Nagel Photography/Shutterstock

Jackson, Misssissipi residents have a lot of debt on their plates.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 30.3%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 10.1%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.37


4. Memphis, Tennessee

The Old Major/Shutterstock

Of all the cities on this list, Memphis has the lowest debt-to-income ratio, but the most people with maxed-out credit cards.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 29.2%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 11.5%

Median debt-to-income ratio: .51


3. Virginia Beach

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It’s not all a day at the beach in Virginia Beach, with lots of residents dealing with credit card debt, and the highest debt-to-income ratio of cities on this list.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 31.2%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 11.3%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.81


2. New York, New York

Kike Calvo/AP

New Yorkers have quite a bit of credit card debt, and a high cost of living as well.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 31.5%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 10.9%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.02


1. Bridgeport, Connecticut

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Bridgeport, Connecticut is a post-industrial city amidst lots of wealth, and people who call this New England city home face the most debt in America.

Per cent with at least one maxed-out credit card: 32.3%

Per cent with more than one maxed-out card: 10.4%

Median debt-to-income ratio: 1.63

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