If you are living in Los Angeles and struggling with credit card debt, you are not alone. In fact, millions of people nationwide find themselves carrying a balance on their credit cards from month to month. But L.A. is among the cities with the highest individual debt, on average, according to TheStreet.
That website put together a top 10 list of major U.S. metro areas by average credit card balance. Here is that list:
- Portland, OR ($4,435 average balance)
- Los Angeles ($4,371)
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL ($4,352)
- Phoenix ($4,483)
- San Diego ($4,639)
- Houston ($4,745)
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL ($4,325)
- Atlanta ($4,845)
- Dallas-Fort Worth ($4,902)
- San Antonio, TX ($4,800)
L.A.’s average credit card debt is not as high as some cities’ on this list, though $4,371 in debt would certainly be a big problem for most people. TheStreet says that Angelinos carry an average of 2.18 credit cards each, one of the highest numbers on the list, suggesting that many residents are struggling to pay off more than one account at a time.
When a customer falls far enough behind on their bill, the credit card company may turn the account over to a debt collection agency. These are legitimate companies, but in the past often engaged in abusive practices, like threatening people with violence or wage garnishment, and harassing them with late night phone calls and profanity.
These unscrupulous practices are now against the law under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Violators can be made to pay penalties to their victims in court.