A new report shows Americans are cutting down their debt accumulated from credit card payments, but some states are reducing it more than others.
According to the study from Credit Karma, Americans paid down their credit cards 11 percent more in 2011 than in 2010, a statistic financial analysts typically use to diagnose the overall health of the economy. While more responsible spending is a good thing, it can also be a sign of consumers lacking confidence in the economy, which can mean slow growth for businesses.
Online analyst, 24/7 Wall St., studied the credit card payment patterns of every state to determine the five states with citizens who carry the least amount of debt on their credit cards.
The most noteworthy statistic was that nine of the ten wealthiest states in the country also owed the most money on their credit cards, whereas six of the ten states with lowest median incomes carry the least amount of debt.
Cost of living was also a major factor that drove these results, as seven of the ten most debt-ridden states were also within the 15 most expensive states to live. And, four of the ten states with the lowest amount of debt were within the 15 most affordable states to live.
With all of these contributing factors, these five states rank the lowest in credit card payments owed:
5) Louisiana owes $5,856 in credit card payments per person on average
4) Utah owes $5,816 in credit card payments per person on average
3) Alabama owes $5,770 in credit card payments per person on average
2) Mississippi owes $5,275 in credit card payments per person on average
1) Wisconsin owes $5,062 in credit card payments per person on average
Where do we Denverites rank? With a respectable cost of living and the financing of all of our skis, bikes and kayaks, Colorado is 5th highest in the amount of credit card payments owed at $7,533 per person. New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and (surprise!) Alaska rank fourth through first, respectively, as the highest.