CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CompareCards by LendingTree today released the findings of its study on where credit card balances have increased and decreased the most in 2018. Using anonymized data from My LendingTree users, CompareCards ranked the 30 largest metros in the U.S. by the percentage increases of their respective average credit card balances, versus those during the same period in 2017.
Credit card balances are growing in 20 of the 30 largest U.S. metros, while declining in nine with one city unchanged. The changes in credit card balances range from a 9 percent increase in Miami to a 6 percent drop in San Francisco.
Cities with the largest average credit card balance increases:
Miami— Credit card balances jump 9 percent. By a significant margin, Miami's rise leads the 30 largest U.S. cities. It edges out No. 2 Pittsburgh by three percentage points. Despite the big jump, Miami's average credit card balance of $5,639 and credit card utilization rate of 30.4 percent are still lower than most cities on the list.
Pittsburgh — Credit card balances increased by 6 percent. Pittsburgh's credit card balance of $5,771 was a 6 percent increase over 2017. According to LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze, new home purchases may be a big reason. In his recent report, Pittsburgh ranks second in the nation among millennials shopping for a home — homes that often need new appliances or renovations, and costs that new homeowners may charge to their credit cards.
New York — Credit card balances increased by 5 percent. The largest U.S. city is also experiencing one of the largest jumps in credit card balances — its $6,125 average balance is a 5 percent increase over 2017.
Cities with the largest average credit card balance decreases:
San Francisco — Credit card balances declined 6 percent. Even though it still has one of the highest average credit card balances in the country, second only to Washington, D.C., San Francisco saw the biggest drops. Even better: San Francisco has the lowest utilization rate among the 30 cities in the study. A booming tech market may be part of the reason, plus strong housing values that can often be tapped for borrowing at a more favorable rate than credit cards.
Dallas — Credit card balances declined 5 percent. Although it may have a reputation for being an energy town, Dallas' economy also sports a robust tech sector. And according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the metro's population is growing faster than any other city in the country, buoyed by unemployment rates of 3.6 percent, a level lower than the current national rate of 4.1 percent.
Baltimore — Credit balances drop by 5 percent. The metro has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Northeast, largely based on higher-paying service jobs in the information technology, defense contracting and financial services industries.
CompareCards used a statistically relevant sampling of anonymized My LendingTree user data, comparing the latest three-month period ending January 2018 with the same period ending January 2017. CompareCards also relied on Census Bureau data to determine the greatest changes in credit card balances in the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.
My LendingTree user credit information is provided by TransUnion.
About LendingTree: LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online loan marketplace, empowering consumers as they comparison-shop across a full suite of loan and credit-based offerings. LendingTree provides an online marketplace which connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools and information to help consumers find the best loan. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 65 million loan requests. LendingTree provides free monthly credit scores through My LendingTree and access to its network of over 500 lenders offering home loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, business loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.
About CompareCards: CompareCards' mission is to help people make smarter, more informed, healthier financial decisions based on deeper knowledge of financial offers. Each month, over 2.9 million visitors come to CompareCards' website to independently compare credit cards side-by-side and choose a credit card based on interest rate, reward benefit, cost savings, and other factors that are important to each person. CompareCards provides easy-to-use, objective tools and educational resources that help people do everything from making credit card comparisons to managing their credit health. For more information, please visit www.comparecards.com.
The CompareCards division of LendingTree is based in Charleston, South Carolina and also has an office in the greater Chicago area.