Report: Rhode Islander’s ability to pay off credit card debt ranks 34th in nation

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked No. 34 in the United States for the average amount of credit card debt and the capacity to pay it off based on income, according to a report by CreditCards.com.

To determine rankings, the credit card research website used the average credit card debt per bank cardholder, according to consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion as of March, and the average household income from the 2021 census in each state. Researchers assumed that 5% of gross monthly income would go toward credit card debt, with the national average credit card interest rate of 20.69%.

The data, published on June 20, showed Rhode Island residents carried an average credit card debt of $5,547 and had an average annual income of $99,144. That would require 16 months to pay off the debt, with interest paid during this time totaling $817.

Massachusetts had the lowest credit card debt burden relative to income in the nation. The average Bay Stater carries $5,633 of credit card debt, according to the report. The study found that Massachusetts residents had an average annual income of $124,789. That would require 13 months to pay off the debt, with $656 going toward interest.

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The District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Hampshire and California rounded out the five lowest in the ranking of debt-to-income ratio.

Mississippi had the highest credit card debt burden relative to income in the nation. The report found the average person in that state carried $4,972 of credit card debt that would take 22 months to pay off, with an average annual income of $68,048. Total interest paid would be $997.

Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Las Vegas rounded out the top five highest credit card debt burdens relative to income.