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18 Surprising Cities With the Biggest Credit Card Debt Increase

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Credit cards are a convenient means to cover the cost of financial emergencies. They are also the best way to spread out large payments over time. That’s why it’s not a surprise that credit card debt has soared in many American households. 

According to WalletHub, the total credit card debt in America was $1.3 trillion in 2023, with an average debt of $10,848 per household. However, some cities contribute more debt than others.

This guide lists the cities with the biggest credit card debt increase, from the top to the bottom rank. 

Methodology

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Americans have racked up a huge credit card debt of nearly $1.3 trillion. Last year, we added $108 billion to the total, so it’s not surprising more and more Americans struggle with debt.

WalletHub researched cities with the highest increase in credit debt. They listed over 180 cities based on the available Federal Reserve and TransUnion consumer-finance data and then adjusted for inflation.

To put things in perspective, they compared cities based on the debt per household and their average balance. With this data, WalletHub identified which cities swipe their plastic card most.

1. Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Aerial view of Rancho Cucamonga California MSN
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The first on the list is Rancho Cucamonga, California, which has 178,000 residents. The city has $18,326 in credit card debt on average, which increased by $3,360 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. Overall, the residents have $1.05 billion in credit card debt.

Despite their huge credit card expenses, the city’s average credit score is 683, which falls into FICO’s good credit range of 670 to 739. This means the city’s residents make responsible payments. On top of that, the locals have a median income of $105,534, which helps them manage debt more easily.

2. Ontario, CA

Ontario City Library MSN
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Ontario, California, has the second-largest increase in credit card debt. With over 182,000 residents, the city added $3,069 to the average household debt of $17,025 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. The city’s residents owe around $881.2 million on their credit cards.

The residents’ high credit card use is reflected in their credit scores. Ontario’s average credit score of 661 falls under FICO’s “fair” range. With a median salary of $79,129, low-income residents still struggle to pay off their credit card debts, given the 4.3% price hike in the area.

3. Fontana, CA

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Third on the list is Fontana, California, with 216,000 residents in 2024. Fontana’s credit card debt increased by $2,888 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. This resulted in an average debt of $17,823 per household, with a total debt of over $995.5 million for the entire city.

The city’s average credit score is 666, which FICO classifies as “fair.” With a median income of $93,230 annually, the city’s residents may not struggle as compared to the average American who earns $75,149 annually.   

4. Santa Clarita, CA

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Santa Clarita is in fourth place, with 214,000 residents in 2024. The city’s credit card debt increased by $2,733 from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023, which increased the average household debt to $21,808. Overall, the city’s residents owe $1.6 billion in credit debt.

The city has a good credit score of 714, with a median household income of $116,186. This shows that most credit card users in the city can afford their credit card payments. 

5. Santa Ana, CA

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Santa Ana, California, comes fifth on our list with a population of 306,500. The city gained $2,533 in credit card debt from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023, which raised the city’s average household debt to $18,436. In total, the city’s residents owe $1.4 billion in debt.

The city’s average credit score of 690 falls into FICO’s “good credit score” category. Though its median salary is $84,210—lower than other cities—the credit score indicates residents pay their credit card debt responsibly. 

6. Chula Vista, CA

Chula Vista California MSN
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In sixth place is Chula Vista, with a population of 282,300. The city saw a credit card debt increase of $2,502 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023, which raised the average debt to $20,146. Overall, Chula Vista credit card users owe almost $1.7 billion in credit card debt. 

The city has an average credit score of 678, which falls into FICO’s good credit range. However, the score is only 9 points from a “fair” credit range, so some card users might struggle to pay off their debt. Nonetheless, the city has a $101,984 median household income. It might explain why people use their credit cards a lot, even though it can lower their credit score.

7. Oxnard, CA

Aerial view of Oxnard California MSN
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Oxnard City is at number seven with a population of 198,600. The city saw a credit card debt increase of $2,384 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023, which contributed to the $17,978 average household debt. Collectively, the people in the city have racked up $918.6 million in credit card debt. 

The city’s 670 average credit score is on the lowest end of a “good” range. However, the debt is not bad for Oxnard’s residents with their $90,409 median household income. Credit card users should keep their finances in mind and manage their finances well to pay their debt on time. 

8. Pearl City, HI

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At number eight on our list we move away from California and toward Hawaii. Pearl City, Hawaii, ranks eight with 48,500 residents. Between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023, it faced a $2,327 credit card debt rise, so the average credit card debt in the city soared to $19,235. As a whole, the city residents have amassed $288.2 million in credit card debt. 

Despite the millions of dollars in debt with less than 49,000 residents, the city has a good credit score of 707, which shows the residents are good payers. The median household income in this city is $116,938, which is also higher than average. 

9. Riverside, CA

Riverside California MSN
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Back to Califonia. Riverside, California is in ninth place in WalletHub’s research. The city has 326,000 residents and experienced a $2,316 increase in credit card debt between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. As a result, the average household credit card debt grew to $18,027. 

In total, the city owes $1.6 billion in credit card debt. Despite its 674 average credit score, which falls within the “good” range, it is only 5 points above a “fair” credit rating. With a median household income of $83,448, low-income residents may still struggle to pay their debt on time. 

10. Las Vegas, NV

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In tenth place is Las Vegas, famously known as “Sin City.” With a population of 665,800, the city witnessed a $2,304 increase in credit card debt between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. With that, the average credit card debt increased to $15,203.

Altogether, the residents have amassed $3.66 billion in debt. This amount is quite high, given the $66,356 median household income. Understandably, the city’s average credit score is pretty low at 655, which translates to the residents’ difficulty paying their credit card debts. 

11. Peoria, AZ

Peoria Arizona water view MSN
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Peoria, Arizona, comes in at number eleven. The city has a total population of 203,800 and an average credit card debt of $15,345 per household. This is due to the credit card debt increase of $2,256 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023.

The city’s residents owe a debt of $1.1 billion in total, and their median household income is $86,759. With an average credit score of 684, residents are well within the “good” range according to FICO.

12. Moreno Valley, CA

MSN-Moreno-Valley-CA
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The city of Moreno Valley is 12th on the list. With a population of 214,700, it saw a $2,177 increase in credit card debt between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. As a result, the city’s average household debt increased to $16,773.

The city has a median household income of $82,637 annually and an average credit score of 643. This score falls into the “fair” category, so some residents might find it hard to pay their credit card bills on time. 

13. West Valley City, UT

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West Valley City is in 13th place with a credit card debt increase of $2,167 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. Because of the increase, the city’s average household credit card debt rose to $13,634. With a population of 133,333, the city accumulated a total of $529.5 million in debt. 

Though the debt is lower than others, West Valley’s average credit score is 640, which is a “fair” score on FICO’s standards. Its median household income is also lower than others, at $82,637. Given these numbers, low-income earners may struggle to pay their credit card bills on time. 

14. Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Arizona MSN
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Scottdale is a city in Arizona with a population of 244,200. Between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023, the city saw a $2,167 increase in credit card debt, which resulted in a $17,593 average household debt. In total, Scottdale’s residents owe $2 billion in credit card debt. 

However, given the city’s $104,197 median income and average credit score of 722, the residents consistently pay their dues on time. The 722 score is in FICO’s “very good” category, which means the credit card users in this city are responsible borrowers. 

15. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield California MSN
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In WalletHub’s research, the city of Bakersfield, California, saw the 15th biggest increase in credit card debt, with $2,158 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. As a result, the average household credit card debt soared to $14,596.

With a population of over 416,100, Bakersfield’s residents acquired a total credit card debt of $1.82 billion. With the $73,827 median household income and the city’s 653 credit score, low-income earners struggle to pay their plastic debts. Note that the 653 credit score is within the “fair” category, based on FICO’s score system. 

16. Yonkers, NY

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Yonkers, New York, is at number 16, with a credit card debt increase of $2,109 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. With that increase, the average household credit card debt rose to $14,742. Overall, the 205,300 residents of Yonkers have compiled $1.2 billion in credit card debt.

The city has a $78,208 median household income and a fair credit score of 667, 3 points below a “good” credit score of 670. That means they just fall into the “fair” category. Given the numbers, low-income families may find it hard to pay their credit card dues on time. 

17. Henderson, NV

Henderson, NV MSN
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Henderson City, Nevada, ranks 17th for credit card debt increase, which rose by $2,103 between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023. As a result, the average household debt increased to $17,009. With a population of 343,800, the city amassed a total of $2.11 billion in credit card debt.

Henderson residents’ financial situation is not good, given the billions of dollars of debt, the $85,331 median household income, and the 680 average credit score. Hence, it’s no surprise many low-income earners can’t pay their dues on time. 

18. North Las Vegas, NV

North Las Vegas, NV MSN
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In 18th place is North Las Vegas, with a $2,090 credit card debt increase from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023. With the increase, the city’s average household credit card debt is $15,700. In total, the 299,900 residents have accumulated $1.3 billion in plastic debt.

Considering the city’s average credit score of 640 and the $71,774 median household income, low-income residents may struggle to pay their dues. Note that the 640 credit score is in FICO’s “fair” range. 

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