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, Debt.com 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…

State Payoff time with minimum payments Credit card balance per capita Rank
Alaska 20 years and 7 months $4,110 50
New Jersey 19 years and 9 months $3,730 49
Hawaii 19 years and 7 months $3,650 48
Virginia 19 years and 5 months $3,570 47
Maryland 19 years and 4 months $3,560 46
Connecticut 19 years and 4 months $3,540 45
New York 19 years and 3 months $3,520 44
N.H. 18 years and 9 months $3,310 43
Washington 18 years and 7 months $3,240 42
California 18 years and 6 months $3,220 41
Rhode Island 18 years and 3 months $3,110 40
Minnesota 18 years and 2 months $3,080 39
Florida 18 years and 2 months $3,070 38
Colorado 18 years and 11 months $3,380 37
Mass. 18 years and 10 months $3,340 36
Texas 17 years and 9 months $2,940 35
Arizona 17 years and 9 months $2,930 34
Pennsylvania 17 years and 8 months $2,900 33
Georgia 17 years and 8 months $2,890 32
Vermont 17 years and 7 months $2,880 31
Wyoming 17 years and 5 months $2,800 30
Oregon 17 years and 5 months $2,800 29
N. Dakota 17 years and 5 months $2,810 28
Utah 17 years and 3 months $2,750 27
Montana 17 years and 2 months $2,730 26
Nevada 17 years and 11 months $3,000 25
Delaware 17 years and 11 months $3,000 24
Illinois 17 years and 10 months $2,970 23
N. Carolina 17 years and 1 month $2,710 22
Maine 17 years $2,670 21
Ohio 16 years and 8 months $2,570 20
New Mexico 16 years and 7 months $2,550 19
Wisconsin 16 years and 6 months $2,530 18
S. Carolina 16 years and 5 months $2,500 17
Missouri 16 years and 5 months $2,490 16
Michigan 16 years and 4 months $2,480 15
S. Dakota 16 years and 11 months $2,650 14
Nebraska 16 years and 11 months $2,640 13
Kansas 16 years and 10 months $2,610 12
Idaho 16 years and 10 months $2,630 11
Tennessee 16 years $2,360 10
Indiana 16 years $2,370 9
Louisiana 15 years and 8 months $2,270 8
Kentucky 15 years and 4 months $2,180 7
Alabama 15 years and 4 months $2,190 6
West Virginia 15 years and 3 months $2,160 5
Arkansas 15 years and 2 months $2,150 4
Iowa 15 years and 11 months $2,340 3
Oklahoma 15 years and 10 months $2,330 2
Mississippi 13 years and 11 months $1,850 1
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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 MSN.com 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.

Published by Debt.com, LLC