NJ carries highest credit card debt in the nation, study says
New Jerseyians have the highest credit card balances in the nation, according to a new study by CompareCards.com.
Chief industry analyst Matt Schulz said that can spell trouble in the future. New Jersey was joined by neighbors including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland near the top of the list.
Seven million, or nearly 93% of adults in New Jersey, have credit cards, with an average balance in excess of $4,000. The study also showed 179,373 or (2.40%) of cardholders are 90-plus days delinquent on their accounts, totaling $2.3 billion statewide.
"But the good news is that New Jersey is toward the middle of the pack when it comes to delinquencies, and that's actually a pretty good thing," Schulz said. "Not everybody who has a high credit card balance is necessarily in danger of going delinquent," said Shulz.
In fact, a lot of times, folks with higher incomes like those in the Northeast may wind up with higher credit card debts because they are able to manage those payments a little better, he added.
Schulz said New Jerseyans are handling their business, at least when it comes to making credit card payments on time.
One popular option to tackle credit card debt is to take action and get a 0% balance transfer credit card. Schulz said while it may seem counterintuitive to tackle credit card debt by getting a new credit card, tackling an interest-free account can make a big difference..
He said about 80% of people who call their cards and request reduced rates get them. When the study surveyed people and asked why they didn't make that call, a lot of them simply said they didn't know that they could. Others didn't think it would work.
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