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Florida cities rank high for average consumer credit card debt

A recent study has determined that the average American is still struggling with quite a bit of debt, but that some residents living in Florida actually have a higher than average amount of debt.

According to Equifax, the average household spends 17 percent of their income paying for credit card debt, and that in general the average consumer has about $4,200 in debt on their credit card. And while this amount shows a 4 percent decrease from last year's average, the amount is still very high, especially at a time when unemployment rates are high and people are struggling to just pay for their day-to-day expenses, let alone a monthly credit card bill.

When looking at Florida, Jacksonville is listed as having the second highest credit card debt burden out of any other city in the U.S. However, even though the average Jacksonville resident has about $5,115 in credit card debt, those living in Orlando, Miami and Tallahassee are also among the list of the top 25 cities whose residents have the most amount of credit card debt throughout the entire country.

When looking at reasons why some residents in Florida have such staggering amounts of debt, one financial expert points to the fact that Florida was one of the states to be the hardest hit by the mortgage crisis, which translates to the fact that many homeowners who are financially struggling may be living off of credit cards in an attempt to use all of their actual income to make mortgage payments.

In addition, unemployment is also high in Florida, which means that some people are actually relying on credit cards for day-to-day purchases.

In general, having high amounts of credit card debt can be very stressful, and can actually hurt a person's credit score. However, all is not lost, and there are many different routes a person can take to get their debt under control. For some, debt consolidation may be the best choice, but for others bankruptcy may be best. In all situations, it's a good idea to look into all debt relief options before making a decision, and to keep in mind that help is available and that many other people are also in the exact same situation during this tough economy.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "5 U.S. Cities With The Most Credit Card Debt," Rachel Brown, 18 April 2011

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