News & Resources

Northern Minnesota cities ravaged by credit card debt

Feb 03, 2011 Brian Bradley

Consumers throughout the country are feeling the pain of huge amounts of credit card debt, which is not only affecting their short-term spending ability, but their consumer credit reports as well. One area feeling the pain is in northern Minnesota, including Duluth and surrounding areas, where debt has reached a frightening level. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the town of Twin Ports is tied for third in the nation for the number of consumers with debt as a percentage of their income. That problem, as reported by Equifax, also hangs over residents of Duluth, Superior and Iron Range, where residents owe 16.7 percent of their income to credit card debt. Dan Williams, program director for Lutheran Social Services Financial Counseling Service in Duluth, told the News Tribune that areas of lower-income households tend to have the worst debt levels. The paper states that the median income in the Duluth area is a little more than $38,000. Williams added that his company has serviced 620 families who have an average of $21,906 in credit card debt. Together they owed slightly less than $2 million. The original report came with the acknowledgement from the Federal Reserve that Americans owe more than $790 billion in credit card debt, with Californians leading the way with more than $90 billion.