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Connecticut Tops the Nation in Credit Card Debt

February 13, 2012

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Connecticut ranked overall right in the middle of the states regarding residents' financial assets in a recent study. However, in one area it ranked dead worst: It has the highest per capita debt of any state, according to the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development "Assets & Opportunities Scorecard."

Orlando Rodriguez from Connecticut Voices for Children says that makes sense.

"I believe that finding is strongly linked to income. I don't think there's any coincidence here in that Connecticut has among the highest if not the highest incomes in the country, and we see we have the highest credit card debt in the country. Well, people with more income are going to get more credit available to them. That's part of it."

Because the debt is averaged across all consumers in the study, it can't be determined whether high-, medium- or low- income residents are affected the most, he adds.

"If it's people at the bottom of the economic ladder, they're never going to get ahead. If you have low-income folks who are carrying high amounts of credit card debt, they're never going to pay off that debt because they're going to be just paying the monthly finance charges. They need to pay off the debt itself."

The complete Connecticut scorecard is available at http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT