BizBeat: Credit card blues ... not here

When it comes to spending money we don’t actually have, Americans do it best. No, I’m not talking about the national debt, although our government seems to carry the same spending habits as the rest of us.

What I’m speaking of is the dreaded bill that comes every month without fail as consumers opt to buy now and pay later. Unfortunately it is no secret that most Americans carry substantial credit card debt.

The average American has approximately $1,750 of credit card debt at any given time. Here in Mid-Missouri, however, we’ve come up ahead of the curve.

According to Manilla.com, a site and mobile app that helps people organize and manage all of their expenses and online accounts, the Jefferson City and Columbia areas have some of the lowest credit card account balances in the country, averaging $1,300, and ranking sixth-lowest.

The findings identified the 10 markets with the lowest credit card balances as of Dec. 31, 2012. Harlingen, Texas ranked No. 1 with the lowest credit card debt at $1,158.

Although residents carry low credit card balances, the average APR for that balance is 18.39 percent.

Jefferson City and Columbia residents also carry other debt balances, including $15,210 in student loans, $99,501 in mortgage loans, and $11,955 for auto loans. Jefferson City and Columbia rank below the national average in all of four categories.

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