Many factors can affect a person’s financial health or challenges. Loss of employment, unexpected medical expenses, divorce and more are among some of the most common situations that negatively impact Oregon consumers’ ability to remain financially solvent. In tough times, many people can rely on credit to get by. That can be helpful but it can also lead to serious credit card debt. If not well managed, this too can become a source of difficulty.

Data from the first quarter of 2014 released by Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports show that residents of Alaska have the highest average amount of credit card debt among all Americans. The other states in the top ten were either in the south or the east. In general, however, it seems there is a nationwide trend toward smaller credit card balances. Among all states, the average balance on credit cards is $27 less in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the prior year.

Oregonians lead the way with the biggest decline in balances carried on credit cards. Since the first quarter of 2012, current balances are $192 lower and since the first quarter of 2013 they are $102 lower. That can be good news to many throughout the state who have struggled with consumer debt and associated issues such as delinquent payments and creditor harassment.

When dealing with serious financial challenges, talking to an attorney may be helpful. Learning about options from credit management to bankruptcy and more can go a long way toward identifying a good solution for high debt.

Source: MarketWatch, “States with the most credit card debt,” Christine diGangi, June 26, 2014