Credit card debt decreases in Georgia
Credit card debt continued its decline last year, with a more than 10 percent decrease throughout the U.S. But although every state in the country saw a drop in total credit card debt last year, financial analysts believe that this trend will likely reverse itself in the coming months and years as the economy continues to recover.
Specifically, credit card debt fell by 11 percent nationwide in 2011. This continued a decline that began in 2010, when debt fell by 7 percent. The average credit card balance was $6,576 in 2011, a significant decline from the average balance of $7,404 in 2010.
Georgia’s credit card debt mirrored the national trend, with an average credit card balance of about $6,500. This marked an 11 percent drop in credit card debt from 2010.
The highest declines in credit card debt came in Mississippi and Alabama, which saw a 23 percent and 16 percent drop in debt, respectively. Alaska currently has the highest average credit card balance of nearly $8,000.
In total, the average American consumer held a total debt load of about $210,000 at the end of 2011, which is just a 1 percent decline from 2010. Mortgage debt remained about the same throughout 2011, but auto loan debt increased by about 2 percent.
Although the decline in debt is encouraging news, many financial analysts do not believe that it represents a lasting trend in American credit card usage. As the economy continues to recover, banks and credit card companies are beginning to loosen credit card requirements. This will allow more people to open cards, and give cardholders more available credit with which to spend.
Source: CNN Money, “Credit card debt drops 11%,” Blake Ellis, Jan. 17, 2012