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Navigating the map of debt

From sea to shining sea, and from sunshine to snowbanks and from mountains to swamps and everything in between, Americans are swimming in debt. A recently published news story and accompanying map shows just how much debt the residents in each state owe on average.

For instance, here in Florida, debt adds up to $34,500 per person. That includes mortgages, college loans, credit card debt and medical debt, among other big bills.

The state with the highest debt-per-resident average is Hawaii. (If you wonder why, consider for a moment the cost of real estate on the island paradise out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.) The state with the lowest average is Alaska. (Real estate is plentiful up yonder, of course.)

Some of the figures might well surprise you. Average residents of Texas ($185,600) owe far more per person than average residents of California ($38,900), Ohio ($14,800) and Michigan ($21,700). In fact, the average Texan owes more than $100,000 than the residents of all those other states combined.

The place with the very lowest debt per resident might also surprise you. Washington DC dips below even Alaska.

Across the nation, Americans have racked up nearly $13 trillion in personal debt. While that's a lot of money no matter who you are or where you call home, the income-to-debt ratio is well below the figures that preceded the Great Recession of nearly a decade ago.

For those struggling with medical debt or credit card debt, a call to an attorney experienced in debt solutions can provide peace of mind and a way out from under unmanageable bills.

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