Question of the Day: What states saw the biggest decrease in average credit card balance in 2020?

May 18, 2021
Question of the Day, Credit Cards

Answer: Alaska and California with a decrease of 18%



  • What changes in credit card debt occurred in your state in 2020? What do you think were the causes of this decline in credit card balances?
  • How would you strategize to avoid carrying credit card debt if possible?
  • How would you budget to pay off debt, whether it's a credit card, student loan, car loan, etc?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (HowMuch): 

"The good news is that average credit card debt is declining across the map. In fact, every state has seen a double-digit decrease with the exception of North Dakota (-8%) and West Virginia (-9%). People living in Washington, DC paid off an amazing 20% of their credit debt in a single year, followed by Alaska and California (both -18%). 

  • On average, credit balances decreased $879 or 14% from 2019 to 2020.
  • Alaskans paid down their debt at one of the highest rates in the country (-18%), but still carry the highest overall debt load ($6,617).
  • Generation X has the highest overall credit card debt at $7,155, but the Silent Generation is paying it down at the highest clip (-16%)."


For more resources related to credit cards, check out the Types of Credit unit!


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About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.