Credit Card Debt High in Some Houston Suburbs

Credit cards. Photo: Flickr user frankieleon.

Some Houston area suburbs have some of the most burdensome credit card debt in the country, according to a Wallethub analysis of TranUnion’s data that looked at overall credit card debt, the cost to pay that debt off and the months until payoff. Magnolia, Texas was at the top of the list with a median credit card debt of $3,964.

Magnolia was one of more than 40 cities in the 99th percentile of credit card debt which factored in all three measures to create an overall score. Eight other Texas cities shared the distinction, including several – Richmond, Humble –  in the Houston area.

With the national credit debt reaching record highs, Wallethub noted that it’s about to get even more expensive to use credit; “…the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase the federal interest rate in December 2017 by 0.25% will raise the cost of credit instruments, including credit cards. WalletHub estimates the rate hike will cost credit-card users nearly $1.5 billion in additional finance charges in 2018.”

The city of Houston had less overall credit card debt, with a median amount of $2,578, but was still in the 82nd percentile overall. Places like The Woodlands had high median credit card debt, $4,698, but only 11 months to pay it off, versus 13 for Houston. Sugar Land ranked even better than The Woodlands with lower overall credit card debt – $3,309 – and a shorter time frame to pay it off at just nine months.

Other suburbs that ranked high? Katy had a median credit card debt of $3,348 with 14 months for payoff. Tomball also ranked high with a median credit card debt of $3,628 and 15 months for payoff. Spring was even higher than Tomball at $3,772 median credit card debt and 16 months for payoff. Conroe, Crosby and Rosenberg also ranked in at least the 90th percentile or higher.

The data provides another window into the area’s financial health following an analysis by the Urban Institute that found that Houston had lower than national average credit scores and more delinquent debt. In that analysis, the Urban Institute noted several policy measures local jurisdictions could take to strengthen the financial health of residents, including funding programs that incentivize savings and integrate efforts to help people “manage their debt and daily finances, build credit scores, and save” into other city services.

Explore the Wallethub map of median credit card debt rankings below.

Source: Wallethub
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Leah Binkovitz

Leah Binkovitz is Senior Editor with the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

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