Washington state has third-highest unsustainable credit card debt in the nation

Washington state came in at No. 3 in the nation in terms of unsustainable credit card debt, according to a new study by WalletHub.

Only Alaska and the other Washington – the District of Columbia – fared worse than Washington, coming it at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

To determine its rankings, the personal finance website looked at TransUnion credit data to calculate the cost and time required to pay off the median card balances in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“At the beginning of 2022, Americans owed over $1 trillion in credit-card debt,” the WalletHub report states. “Big debt increases during 2021 wiped out progress made from record-setting payoffs in 2020 made possible by stimulus checks.”

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez spoke to the Evergreen State’s dubious bronze medal finish.

“Washington has the third least sustainable credit card debt,” she reiterated in an email to The Center Square.

The median credit card debt in Washington is $2,471, according to WalletHub.

“The state has the fifth highest median credit card debt amount at almost $2,500 and the fourth highest cost to pay off at $249,” Gonzalez noted. “Plus, the debt takes almost 15 months until payoff, which is the second longest time period nationwide.”

As to why Washingtonians on average have such a high amount of credit card debt, Gonzalez offered an explanation.

“One of the reasons the average credit card debt might be so high is the fact that Washingtonians also have a very high level of earnings,” she said. “Basically, a high income allows for a higher credit limit, which explains Washington's numbers.”

Washington’s Pacific Northwest neighbors fared slightly better in WalletHub’s rankings.

Oregon came in at No. 6, and Idaho came in at No. 13.

The 10 states and state designates with the highest credit card debt:

1. Alaska

2. District of Columbia

3. Washington

4. Vermont

5. Wyoming

6. Oregon

7. Montana

8. New Hampshire

9. Massachusetts

10. Colorado

The 10 states with the lowest credit card debt:

51. Mississippi

50. Arkansas

49. West Virginia

48. Iowa

47. Louisiana

46. Tennessee

45. Kentucky

44. Pennsylvania

43. Ohio

42. Nebraska

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