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Report shows amounts of credit card debt, number of cards

Many Florida residents and others around the country frequently use credit cards for their purchases. There are a variety of ways consumers choose to utilize their cards to fit their budgetary needs. However, with credit card debt now exceeding $1 trillion in the nation, it is clear that those carrying balances may have difficulty eliminating them.

A credit rating company and a personal finance website developed a report that compared credit card usage by state. One startling statistic showed that 43 percent of consumers with credit cards carry balances each month. Since these card holders must pay interest on the balances, they end up paying more for the purchases they have incurred.

Paying off the balances each month is certainly the wisest financial strategy. However, if a person had charged close to a maximum available balance before paying it off, a high utilization rate can be a contributor to a lower credit score. Experts suggest keeping the utilization rate at 30 percent or lower.

Alaska residents had the highest credit card balances of just over $8,500, with the national average around $6,300. The state with the lowest average balance is Iowa, with approximately $5,100. The report also included data on how many credit cards consumers actually maintained. The average for the nation is 3.1 credit cards, while New Jersey topped the list with 3.49. Mississippi residents had the fewest number of cards at 2.57.

While many consumers use cards for rewards or major purchases, others may have had to use them for emergencies or even routine household expenses. Credit card debt may be a burdensome issue for some Florida residents. Those hoping to reduce or eliminate their card balances should contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for assistance. A trusted lawyer can help clients put a plan in action to improve their financial situation.

Source: cnbc.com, "The US states with the highest and lowest average credit card balances", Jonathan Blumberg, May 1, 2018

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