This spooky map looks at how long it takes to pay off the typical credit card debt in every state.

3 minute read

The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the costumes or the jumpscares.

It’s the fact Halloween is the harbinger of the holiday season. The season of spending a lot of money.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s give this ghoulish celebration its due – by going straight to hell.

In the interactive map below, shows just how hard it is to get out of credit card debt when you’re making minimum payments. It can take more years than there are Friday the 13th and Saw movies combined. Now that’s scary.

But don’t abandon all hope, ye who click here. Even if you live in Alaska – the state deepest in credit hell, where making minimum payments will lose you an average of $4,617 just on interest – it’s possibly to get out of debt quickly.

It requires a lot of sacrifice and some simple but disciplined budgeting, but if you can dedicate 15 percent of your paycheck to paying down credit card debt, you can see daylight in just five months. In many places, you can do it even faster.

Of course, that’s assuming you have the typical credit card debt. We used credit card debt per capita figures from the Federal Reserve, and compared it to the Census Bureau’s median income. If you want to check out what your personal situation looks like, plug your numbers into our credit card debt calculator.

Even if the thought of setting aside 15 percent of your income makes you a little pale, the lesson is pretty clear: Every little bit helps. Give the devil his due and never make the minimum payment if you can help it. Otherwise, you’re in for some unhappy haunting.

Check out the full rankings below…

StatePayoff time with minimum paymentsCredit card balance per capitaRank
Alaska20 years and 7 months$4,11050
New Jersey19 years and 9 months$3,73049
Hawaii19 years and 7 months$3,65048
Virginia19 years and 5 months$3,57047
Maryland19 years and 4 months$3,56046
Connecticut19 years and 4 months$3,54045
New York19 years and 3 months$3,52044
N.H.18 years and 9 months$3,31043
Washington18 years and 7 months$3,24042
California18 years and 6 months$3,22041
Rhode Island18 years and 3 months$3,11040
Minnesota18 years and 2 months$3,08039
Florida18 years and 2 months$3,07038
Colorado18 years and 11 months$3,38037
Mass.18 years and 10 months$3,34036
Texas17 years and 9 months$2,94035
Arizona17 years and 9 months$2,93034
Pennsylvania17 years and 8 months$2,90033
Georgia17 years and 8 months$2,89032
Vermont17 years and 7 months$2,88031
Wyoming17 years and 5 months$2,80030
Oregon17 years and 5 months$2,80029
N. Dakota17 years and 5 months$2,81028
Utah17 years and 3 months$2,75027
Montana17 years and 2 months$2,73026
Nevada17 years and 11 months$3,00025
Delaware17 years and 11 months$3,00024
Illinois17 years and 10 months$2,97023
N. Carolina17 years and 1 month$2,71022
Maine17 years$2,67021
Ohio16 years and 8 months$2,57020
New Mexico16 years and 7 months$2,55019
Wisconsin16 years and 6 months$2,53018
S. Carolina16 years and 5 months$2,50017
Missouri16 years and 5 months$2,49016
Michigan16 years and 4 months$2,48015
S. Dakota16 years and 11 months$2,65014
Nebraska16 years and 11 months$2,64013
Kansas16 years and 10 months$2,61012
Idaho16 years and 10 months$2,63011
Tennessee16 years$2,36010
Indiana16 years$2,3709
Louisiana15 years and 8 months$2,2708
Kentucky15 years and 4 months$2,1807
Alabama15 years and 4 months$2,1906
West Virginia15 years and 3 months$2,1605
Arkansas15 years and 2 months$2,1504
Iowa15 years and 11 months$2,3403
Oklahoma15 years and 10 months$2,3302
Mississippi13 years and 11 months$1,8501
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About the Author

Brandon Ballenger

Brandon Ballenger

Having more than $10,000 in student loan debt has a way of piquing your interest in personal finance. And because my degree was in English and public communication, I get to share that interest with you. My wide-ranging stories on money and business have run on Business Insider, the Christian Science Monitor, Reader's Digest, the front pages of and Yahoo! Finance, Money Talks News, and the South Florida Business Journal. In my free time, I like to jump off skyscrapers and play video games.

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