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How bad is Cumming residents’ credit card debt?
Credit card debt
Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

According to data recently released by the personal-finance website WalletHub, consumers Cumming and several other north Georgia cities have some of the least sustainable credit card debt in the nation.

On Monday, WalletHub released its 2020 report on consumer credit card balances in 2,564 U.S. cities, weighing each location’s median credit card debt, cost of repayment and projected payoff time.  

Cumming is No. 6 on WalletHub’s list of cities with the least sustainable credit card debt, with a median credit card debt of $3,769 and a projected payoff time of 122 months and 27 days, which was calculated using census income data.  

Other Georgia cities on the list include the city of Buford, ranked fifth with a median debt of $3,412 and a projected payoff time of 123 months and 19 days; the city of Canton, eighth with a median debt of $3,724 and payoff time of 119 months and 11 days; and the city of Dahlonega, ranked 10th with a median debt of $2,229 and payoff time of 112 months and 28 days.

According to the list, Jacksonville, N.C. has the least sustainable credit card debt in the country, with a median debt of $3,435 and payoff time of 138 months and 17 days, while the city of Clarkston is listed as having the lowest median credit card debt in the country. 

WalletHub’s methodology states the lists were created using data gathered from TransUnion, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. Census Bureau. Only consumers in each city proper and non-store credit cards were considered during their analysis.

The projected payoff time was calculated using a ratio between national data points and income data specific to each city. 

Along with the lists and data, WalletHub stated that U.S. consumers started 2019 with more than $1 trillion in credit card debt and based on projections, it is expected that that number will have grown by $80 billion by the end of the year.

“The $21.5 billion in credit card debt that U.S. consumers added to their tab during the third quarter pushed outstanding balances to a record high for this time of year, at $1.023 trillion,” WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou said in a news release. “WalletHub is projecting a $80 billion net increase in credit card debt for 2019. That would push the average household’s balance to $9,451 and bring our collective credit card debt to roughly $1.1 trillion.”

Papadimitriou suggested that individuals trying to manage their credit card debt should start by making a plan to pay the highest monthly payment they can each month, in order to get debt free as quickly as possible.

Because credit card debt typically compounds daily, accruing at a higher rate compared to other types of debt, Papadimitriou said that the longer consumers wait, the more expensive their debt becomes.

“Simply having a plan will make the task more digestible,” he said.