Los Angeles certainly has played its role in the gotta-have-it ethos of American capitalism. Imagery blasted by Hollywood and the music industry can make some goods appear to be needs rather than wants.
On the other hand, L.A is an immigration mecca, and many immigrants tend to do cash-only business.
Credit card comparison site CreditCards.com recently looked at average folks' balances in the 25 largest U.S. metro areas. Unfortunately, the site said in a statement, “The L.A. metro area has the nation’s ninth-highest credit card debt burden.”
A spokesman broke down our ranking:
The study compared the area’s average credit card debt with the area’s median income. Dedicating 15% of income to credit card debt, the average L.A.-area resident would get out of debt in 13 months and would pay $323 in interest.
When it comes to the time it would take to get out of debt (13 months), L.A ranked 13th out of 25 nationally, the site said.
Not bad? Not good.
Folks caught on the minimum-payment merry-go-round could end up taking as many as 30 years to extinguish plastic debt, CreditCards.com said in a statement:
For people making minimum payments on card debt, heavy interest costs absorb income that could be used to get ahead via savings and education — or to fund a more comfortable lifestyle.
Be thankful we're not San Antonio, though. That city's above-average card balances and below-average household income added up to make it the place with the highest plastic debt burden in the United States, the site says.
Wealthy San Francisco had the lowest debut burden, according to CreditCards.com:
It would take 16 months and $448 in interest for a median-income San Antonio resident to pay off the area’s average credit card balance. At the other end of the spectrum, a median-income San Francisco resident would pay off that area’s average credit card debt in just nine months and would be charged just $234 in interest.
Charge! Maybe not.