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Credit card debt consistent across the country

New Jersey residents may not know that the amount of money Americans owe on their credit cards is fairly consistent across the country. A survey of credit card debt levels in the nation's largest metropolitan areas conducted by found only a $900 difference in average debt levels between the most indebted and least indebted cities. The credit card information and comparison website published its findings on July 26.

While the average amount of credit card debt owed by Americans across the nation may be fairly consistent, their income levels are not. According to, residents of San Antonio, which was the most indebted city, earn about $18,000 per year less than San Francisco Bay Area residents. The San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose metro area had the lowest credit card debt levels in the survey.

The financial information website put these figures into perspective by calculating how long it would take Americans in different parts of the country to pay off their credit card balances. The calculations were based on consumers allocating 15 percent of their incomes to pay down revolving debt. They found that Bay Area residents would be able to wipe out their credit card debts in just nine months, but those living in San Antonio would have to make payments for 16 months to free themselves of revolving debt.

Many New Jersey residents turn to credit cards after a layoff, illness or injury, and they are rarely able to devote 15 percent of their paychecks to debt reduction. A bankruptcy attorney will often explain the debt relief options available to those struggling with unmanageable bills. An attorney could also point out that filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will put an end to creditor harassment and may provide the opportunity for a fresh start.

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