ATLANTA — Equifax recently reported that nearly 60 of the top 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) hardest hit by credit card debt realized double-digit declines in the percentage of income owed to credit card companies—nearly 24 percent in some areas*.
The cities with the most sizable reductions are clustered in four states across the country: Florida, Louisiana, Washington and California. Florida tops the list as the state with the most cities—five— realizing the largest declines.
“It is interesting that MSAs from some of the states hardest hit by the recession showed some of the biggest reductions in credit card debt,” said Trey Loughran, President of Equifax’s Personal Solutions business. “This suggests that consumers from these hardest hit areas have been especially cautious in their spending and diligent in paying down their credit card debt.”
Comparing percentage of income owed to credit card companies between Q4 2010 and Q4 2011, the following MSAs realized the largest year-over-year declines for the country.
- FL: Port St. Lucie – 23.59%
- FL: Ocala, FL – 20.97%
- WA: Bremerton-Silverdale – 20.62%
- LA: Shreveport-Bossier City – 20.10%
- CA: Bakersfield-Delano – 19.05%
- FL: Northport-Bradenton-Sarasota – 18.44%
- FL: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – 18.43%
- FL: Lakeland-Winter Haven – 18.32%
- CA: Salinas, CA – 17.85%
The reduction in U.S. consumer credit card debt began a steady decline in the fourth quarter of 2010 that continued through the end of 2011, as consumers remained cautious of their spending and focused on deleveraging debt. Consumers owed up to 17 percent of their income to credit card companies in 2010, according to Equifax’s analysis.
Equifax reports that while total consumer debt (mortgage, auto, credit card, etc.) has declined nearly 11 percent from its peak of $12.4 trillion in October of 2008, American households still owe more than $800 billion in debt to credit card companies alone – irrespective of other debts such as mortgages or student loans**.
Following is the list of the MSAs with the most sizable changes in the percentage of income owed to credit card companies, comparing year-over-year fourth quarter data:
|Top MSAs: Percentage Decline in Credit Card Debt (Percent of Income Owed to Credit Card Companies): Q4 2010 to Q4 2011||YOY % Reduction (Q4 2010 to 2011):
Percent of Income
Owed to Credit
|MPSL||Port St. Lucie, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-23.59%|
|MOCA||Ocala, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-20.97%|
|MBRE||Bremerton-Silverdale, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-20.62%|
|MSHR||Shreveport-Bossier City, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-20.10%|
|MBAK||Bakersfield-Delano, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-19.05%|
|MNPT||North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-18.44%|
|MTAM||Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-18.43%|
|MLAE||Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-18.32%|
|MSAL||Salinas, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-17.85%|
|MFRE||Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-17.79%|
|MLAS||Las Vegas-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area||-17.73%|
|MWOR||Worcester, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-17.27%|
|MLAA||Lafayette, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-16.59%|
|MORL||Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-16.43%|
|MCAN||Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-16.22%|
|MDEL||Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-16.19%|
|MREN||Reno-Sparks, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area||-16.06%|
|MBOI||Boise City-Nampa, ID Metropolitan Statistical Area||-16.06%|
|MMOD||Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.86%|
|MTUL||Tulsa, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.69%|
|MNEH||New Haven-Milford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.59%|
|MSTO||Stockton, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.33%|
|MSAA||Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.19%|
|MYOU||Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.18%|
|MMNC||Manchester-Nashua, NH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.18%|
|MJAC||Jacksonville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.10%|
|MPEN||Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-15.05%|
|MYAK||Yakima, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.85%|
|MBAT||Baton Rouge, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.69%|
|MVAL||Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.63%|
|MTOL||Toledo, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.63%|
|MHAR||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.27%|
|MPHO||Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.26%|
|MHUT||Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.24%|
|MPAL||Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.11%|
|MAKR||Akron, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-14.10%|
|MATA||Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area||-13.17%|
|MRIV||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.95%|
|MCHW||Charleston, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.93%|
|MDAY||Dayton, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.26%|
|MCIN||Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.23%|
|MNOW||Norwich-New London, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.20%|
|MOKL||Oklahoma City, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.11%|
|MSAT||Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-12.09%|
|MCCF||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.84%|
|MCLE||Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.80%|
|MALB||Albuquerque, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.79%|
|MGAI||Gainesville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.37%|
|MLEX||Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.27%|
|MTAL||Tallahassee, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.23%|
|MLOU||Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.20%|
|MNEO||New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.15%|
|MWIS||Winston-Salem, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area||-11.13%|
|MDAV||Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area||-10.92%|
|MPOT||Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-10.56%|
|MBRP||Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area||-10.52%|
|MSPI||Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area||-10.47%|
|MFOR||Fort Smith, AR-OK Metropolitan Statistical Area||-10.20%|
|MSYR||Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area||-10.01%|
Equifax Personal Solutions empowers consumers with the confidence and control to be their financial best. Find out more about Equifax’s innovative suite of credit monitoring and identity theft products designed to enable consumers to maximize their financial well-being at www.equifax.com. Get smart information on everything from credit to retirement, all in one place at the Equifax Finance Blog, blog.equifax.com.
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*The Equifax National Credit Trends Report is the source of the research highlighted above. Distributed to customers, this monthly report provides aggregated credit trend data for bankcard, consumer finance/retail, auto finance, auto bank, home equity revolving and first mortgage loans, among other metrics.
For this research, Equifax analyzed quarterly anonymized data on consumers with more than one tradeline (installment loan or revolving account) on their credit file. The information is sourced from a sample of the Equifax credit database and applied to predict trends across the overall population.
For more than a decade, Equifax Analytical Services has provided analytic solutions to businesses. Using a wide range of statistical techniques, our consultants design, develop and implement custom analysis and credit scores and generic analytical models for target marketing and portfolio management programs. With Equifax Analytical Services, customers can gain access to economic, demographic and general credit trend data through creditforecast.com, a forecasting tool built by Equifax and Moody’s Analytics.
**Statistical reference based on consumer credit data from the Federal Reserve Board’s G.19 release which can be found at http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current.