Houston residents earning the metro area’s average wage would have to work for 20 months to pay off the city’s median credit card debt, and it would cost them $799 in interest to do it, according to recent a report from CreditCards.com. The consumer financial advice website used the 13 percent interest rate to perform the calculations from the Federal Reserve’s most recent consumer credit report. This grim statistic makes Houston’s average debt burden the third highest in the country, and the figures suggest that families in many parts of the Lone Star State are struggling to cope with their credit card bills.
San Antonio residents have the highest average revolving debt burden, according to the CreditCards.com study, and people in the city who make an average wage would have to work for 22 months to pay their credit cards off. It would take Dallas residents 19 months to clear their revolving debt, which places Texas cities first, third and fifth on the list of the nation’s highest credit card debt burdens.
Researchers in the study analyzed the country’s 25 most densely populated metropolitan areas, and cities in Texas had some of America’s highest total credit card debt. The $7,171 average revolving debt balance that Dallas residents carry is second only to the $7,442 owed by those living in Washington, D.C. Houston and San Antonio placed fourth and fifth in the rankings with average credit card balances of $7,121 and $7,070 respectively.
People’s credit card balances tend to grow when their wages fail to keep up with inflation or unexpected setbacks cause financial emergencies. Debt can seem insurmountable to individuals and families who are struggling, but the nation’s lawmakers have provided a way to escape overwhelming financial situations. Attorneys with debt relief experience could explain how pursuing bankruptcy makes a second chance possible and puts an end to harassment from bill collectors.