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Floridians Rack Up Credit Card Debt In Pandemic Spending Spree

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Forget sheltering in and laying low during the pandemic. Optimistic vaccinated Floridians are making up for lost time by racking up credit card debt.

"People taking advantage of all the things they have missed because of the pandemic and that's really telling when it comes to spending," said Jill Gonzalez with WalletHub.

The average Floridian has in their wallets or purses six credit cards, carrying about $8,800 in debt. That's an average $409 increase.

"When you compare to all other states, that is quite high," said Gonzalez.

How high? The states with the highest credit card debt are California and Texas with Florida sitting in third place.

Floridians and card holders across the nation did a pretty good job of paying down credit cards during the shutdowns. But the Sunshine State, led by Gov. Ron DeSantis, opened up early.

"More things are open in Florida, that might help people going out and spending," Gonzalez. "For the economy, we do see Florida doing a little better than other states."

But not everyone is handling the comeback spending spree well.

In Florida, high credit card delinquency rates only exceeded by Nevada with 13% of cardholders behind in payments. Florida was right there at almost 12%. And 6.1% of Floridians have maxed out credit cards.

"Consumer enthusiasm is high. Demand is high. Spending money, they might not have and putting it on their credit card," Gonzalez said.

Experts said that the short-term spending is good, but not so much in the long term. Getting out of credit card debt is challenge for lots of folks.

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