Is Your State Really Bad at Repaying Debt? Here’s How to Tackle It

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Right now in the U.S., there’s about $421 billion worth of debt that’s classified as serious delinquency, or at least 90 days overdue, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Paying off debt is a serious problem many of us have struggled with. It can seem like financial whack-a-mole — you pay your credit card bill this month, but then your student loan and car loan payments might have to come in a little later.

You’ve got to buy groceries somehow.

There are plenty of ways to help dig yourself out of debt — some that can only take 13 minutes to start.

But the type of debt people have trouble paying actually varies widely based on where they live.

Using data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, we ranked the five states with the highest serious delinquency rates for four types of debt.

1. Plastic Problems: These States Are the Worst at Paying Credit Card Debt

Last year, the U.S. managed to rack up $834 trillion in credit card debt — the most since the Great Recession.

And many are having trouble paying it back. These are the five states that rank the highest in rates of serious delinquency:

  1. Nevada — 10.76%
  2. Arizona — 9.54%
  3. Florida — 9.41%
  4. New Mexico — 9.02%
  5. Arkansas — 8.66%

But wait! It’s not too late to start chipping away at that debt before we hit another recession.

If you live in one of these states — or maybe you just went a little buck wild last holiday season — a service like Fiona can help you consolidate your debt and lower your payments.

Fiona searches the top online lenders to match you with a personalized loan offer in less than 60 seconds. The platform can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 4.99% and terms from 24 to 84 months.

2. Tuition Trouble: Student Loan Delinquencies Have Hit These States the Hardest

We’ve already figured out Florida is strangely good at paying off student loans, but many states are facing delinquency rates in the high teens:

  1. Mississippi — 16.84%
  2. West Virginia — 16.38%
  3. Kentucky — 15.4%
  4. Oklahoma — 15.33%
  5. Nevada — 14.63%

Maybe this is you. Or maybe you’re just not a student-loan savvy Florida Man (or Woman). Some hacks  can still help you take that debt by the scaly tale and wrestle it into submission. Or… something like that.

Credible is a student refinancing site with a twist — it’s an independent student loan marketplace, not a lender. You merely give the site some information, and Credible will help you find the lenders that are right for you.

3. Car-pe Diem: These States Are Delinquent on Their Auto Loans

People are paying their car loans a lot less diligently than they were back in 2012, leading some experts to worry about a subprime auto crisis (but not too much).

But when you look at state-by-state numbers, there’s a pretty wide gulf of serious delinquency rates — from 1.8% to a little more than 7%.

  1. Washington D.C. — 7.23%
  2. Mississippi — 6.43%
  3. New Mexico — 6.15%
  4. Louisiana — 5.86%
  5. Alabama —5.75%

It could be worse. Still, the fact that 7% of car owners with auto loans in Washington, D.C. haven’t paid their vehicle loans in more than 90 days is troubling.

Besides ditching the car for another commuting option, there are plenty of ways to make money with your own vehicle to help pay down that debt.

You can try the usual ridesharing options, such as Lyft or Uber, or other weird ways to make money from your car.

4. Good Housekeeping: The Surprisingly Good News About Mortgage Debt

OK, here comes the good news. Delinquency in the mortgage sector isn’t alarming the way student debt is.

The serious delinquency rates vary from less than 0.5% to just under 3%.

  1. New York 2.76%
  2. New Jersey 2.67%
  3. Delaware 2.12%
  4. Connecticut 1.95%
  5. Maine 1.95%

Not bad — but that still means there are thousands of folks struggling to pay off their homes, and we want to help.

Still paying interest on your mortgage at an old rate?

Refinancing your mortgage could help you take advantage of better interest rates and save thousands of dollars over time.

Conquering Your Debt

If your state didn’t make it onto any of these not-so-prestigious lists, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re home free. Make sure to check out all our tips to make money from home so when those bills do come, you’re ready.

And if your financial situation is good, congrats! Help keep it that way with a service like Credit Sesame, which will help you monitor and learn how to improve your credit score.

*Lenda Disclosure: This content is provided by Lenda, an advertiser. The Penny Hoarder does not provide home mortgage loans or mortgage recommendations. Lenda is the mortgage originator. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 60DBO68584. Lenda loans are originated by Lenda, Inc, NMLS #991397. Terms and Conditions apply; see for details. Mortgages are not available in all states. See the Lenda eligibility list. Lenda, Inc, 44 Tehama Street, San Francisco, CA 94123.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. Oh crap, he forgot to pay that credit card bill.