For many Americans, credit card debt is a problem that just won't go away.
U.S. consumers finished out last year with more than $57 billion in new debt, according to CardHub. They started 2015 with the largest first-quarter average household credit card balance in a half-dozen years, at nearly $7,200, the research firm notes.
At the same time, as Americans cope with more debt, their earnings have only increased fractionally from where they were a decade ago. And now, according to new analysis by CreditCards.com, some cities are in worse shape when to comes to credit card debt than others.
The study looked at average credit card debt in the 25 largest U.S. metro regions and compared that debt with local median income. It also made the assumption that 15 percent of median income goes toward credit card debt each month.
Using that criteria, the study determined that it would take 16 months and $448 in interest for a median-income resident of San Antonio, Texas, to pay off that average credit card balance. For a San Franciscan, however, that credit card debt could be paid off in nine months, with a charge of $234 in interest.
Matt Schultz, CreditCard.com's senior industry analyst, notes those discrepancies all come down to income and that, when adjusted by income, cities with the highest average credit card debt may not have the highest debt burdens.
"For example, Washington, D.C. has the nation's highest average credit card debt," he said in a statement, "but since it has the highest median income in the U.S., its debt burden is lower than all but two metros."
With those guidelines in mind, here are the U.S. cities with the highest and lowest credit card debt burdens. CreditCard.com also breaks down how long it would take to pay off the average credit card balances in those metro areas, along with the amount of interest charged on that debt.
Cities with the Highest Credit Card Burden
1. San Antonio (16 months, $448 interest)
2. Dallas/Fort Worth (14 months, $382 interest)
3. Atlanta (14 months, $376 interest)
4. Miami/Fort Lauderdale (14 months, $351 interest)
5. Houston (13 months, $363 interest)
Cities with the Lowest Credit Card Burden
21. New York City (11 months, $293 interest)
22. Minneapolis/St. Paul (11 months, $266 interest)
23. Washington, D.C. (10 months, $286 interest)
24. Boston (10 months, $267 interest)
25. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (9 months, $234 interest)