It appears the further the Great Recession recedes in the rear-view mirror, the more credit card debt that Americans have been taking on. Total credit card debt in the U.S. has increased by 29 percent over the past five years, reaching $807 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to Experian, the credit card reporting and marketing company. In the past year alone, it has increased by 6 percent.
The first-quarter data from Experian shows that New Jersey had the second-highest credit card debt among all states (and the District of Columbia) at $6,881. Only Alaskans were deeper in the red on their plastic ($7,726). The others in the top five were Connecticut ($6,876), the District of Columbia ($6,782) and Virginia ($6,773). The states with the lowest credit card debt were Iowa ($4,622), Wisconsin ($4,810), Kentucky ($5,017), South Dakota ($5,023) and Idaho ($5,027).
Just over 60 percent of Americans had a credit card in 2019; the average balance was $6,028 and the average number of credit cards per person was four.