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Credit Card Debt In Texas

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Credit cardholders in Texas owe an average of $6,999 in credit card debt today. That’s the eighth-highest total in the nation, about $400 higher than the national average.

Texas ranks among the highest in the nation in all the credit-card-debt-related categories we looked at, including card ownership, utilization rates, late payments and maxed-out cards.

Scroll down the page for a closer look at credit card debt in Texas, including a breakdown of the state’s 10 largest metropolitan areas (also referred to as “cities” in this report) and answers to some commonly asked questions about credit cards in Texas.

Credit card debt in Texas at a glance

State averageNational rankNational average
Total number of credit cards (includes both bank cards and store cards)5.713th (tie)5.6
Average credit card debt per cardholder$6,999 8th$6,569
Average utilization rate41.80%11th37.70%
Percentage of cardholders currently at least 30 days late with a credit card payment7.20%14th6.40%
Percentage of cardholders with a maxed-out credit card6.60%15th (tie)5.90%

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

How much credit card debt does the average Texan have?

The average credit cardholder in Texas has $6,999 in credit card debt, eighth highest in the country. It is well behind New Jersey, which has the nation’s highest card debt, but it is still well above the national average.

What percentage of Texans are currently at least 30 days late with a credit card payment?

7.2% of Texas cardholders are currently at least 30 days late with a credit card payment. Again, that is one of the highest in the nation and is well above the national average of 6.4%.

How many credit cards does the average Texan have?

The average credit cardholder in Texas has 5.7 credit cards. That includes both bank credit cards and store credit cards. That’s tied with Illinois for 13th highest in the country and is just slightly above the national average of 5.6 cards.

What’s the average credit card utilization rate in Texas?

The average credit card utilization rate in Texas is 41.8%, the 11th highest in the country.

That’s well above the national average of 37.7%, but it is also far higher than recommended for cardholders. The conventional wisdom for many years was that you should keep your utilization rate at 30% or lower to protect your credit score. However, the simple truth is that the lower your utilization rate, the better your score will be.

What percentage of Texans currently have a maxed-out credit card?

6.6% of Texas cardholders currently have a maxed-out credit card. That is tied with North Carolina for the 15th highest in the nation and is well above the national average of 5.9%.

Which Texas cities have the most and least credit card debt?

Among the 10 biggest metropolitan areas in Texas, Houston has the highest average credit card debt at $7,483, while Beaumont has the lowest at $5,751.

Average credit card debt per cardholder

Metropolitan areaAverage
Houston, TX$7,483
Austin, TX$7,306
San Antonio, TX$7,237
Dallas, TX$7,156
Corpus Christi, TX$6,950
Killeen, TX$6,729
El Paso, TX$6,545
McAllen, TX$6,485
Brownsville, TX$5,900
Beaumont, TX$5,751
Texas Average$6,999
National Average$6,569

Note: The statewide average includes residents from the entire state, not just the metropolitan areas included here. For that reason, the averages of the cities shown will not necessarily equal the statewide average shown.

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

Which cities have the highest and lowest percentage of cardholders who are at least 30 days late with a card payment?

Among Texas’ 10 biggest metro areas, Beaumont has the highest percentage of cardholders who are at least 30 days late with a card payment at 10.2%. Austin had the lowest at 5.3%.

Percentage of cardholders who are currently at least 30 days late with a credit card payment

Metropolitan areaPercentage
Beaumont, TX10.20%
Killeen, TX9.40%
Corpus Christi, TX8.40%
San Antonio, TX7.80%
McAllen, TX7.70%
Houston, TX7.30%
El Paso, TX7.10%
Brownsville, TX6.90%
Dallas, TX6.30%
Austin, TX5.30%
Texas Average7.20%
National Average6.40%

Note: The statewide average includes residents from the entire state, not just the metropolitan areas included here. For that reason, the averages of the cities shown will not necessarily equal the statewide average shown.

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

Which cities have the most and fewest credit cards?

Among Texas’ 10 biggest metropolitan areas, McAllen has the highest average number of credit cards per cardholder at 6.3, while Beaumont has the lowest at 4.8.

Average number of credit cards per cardholder

Metropolitan areaAverage
McAllen, TX6.3
Brownsville, TX6.1
Dallas, TX5.9
Houston, TX5.9
El Paso, TX5.9
Corpus Christi, TX5.7
San Antonio, TX5.6
Austin, TX5.6
Killeen, TX5.1
Beaumont, TX4.8
Texas Average5.7
National Average5.6

Note: The statewide average includes residents from the entire state, not just the metropolitan areas included here. For that reason, the averages of the cities shown will not necessarily equal the statewide average shown.

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

Which cities have the highest and lowest credit card utilization rates in Texas?

Beaumont has the highest credit card utilization rate among Texas’ 10 biggest metropolitan areas with a whopping 57.1% — the highest in the nation. The lowest rate among the biggest Texas cities is in Austin at 35.4%.

Average credit card utilization rate per cardholder

Metropolitan areaUtilization rate
Beaumont, TX57.10%
Killeen, TX48.60%
Corpus Christi, TX45.40%
El Paso, TX44.90%
McAllen, TX44.00%
San Antonio, TX43.40%
Brownsville, TX42.70%
Houston, TX42.00%
Dallas, TX38.80%
Austin, TX35.40%
Texas Average41.80%
National Average37.70%

Note: The statewide average includes residents from the entire state, not just the metropolitan areas included here. For that reason, the averages of the cities shown will not necessarily equal the statewide average shown.

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

Which cities have the highest and lowest percentage of cardholders with a maxed-out credit card in Texas?

9.1% of cardholders in Beaumont have a maxed-out credit card. That’s the highest percentage among Texas’ 10 biggest metropolitan areas. The lowest percentage was in Austin and El Paso, where 5.3% of cardholders had a maxed-out credit card.

Percentage of cardholders with a maxed-out credit card

Metropolitan areaUtilization rate
Beaumont, TX57.10%
Killeen, TX48.60%
Corpus Christi, TX45.40%
El Paso, TX44.90%
McAllen, TX44.00%
San Antonio, TX43.40%
Brownsville, TX42.70%
Houston, TX42.00%
Dallas, TX38.80%
Austin, TX35.40%
Texas Average41.80%
National Average37.70%

Note: The statewide average includes residents from the entire state, not just the metropolitan areas included here. For that reason, the averages of the cities shown will not necessarily equal the statewide average shown.

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

Complete data table

Credit card statistics for 10 biggest metropolitan areas in Texas

Metropolitan area% of adults with active credit cardAverage number of cards per cardholderAverage credit card debt per cardholderAverage credit card utilization rate per cardholder% of cardholders currently at least 30 days late with card payment% of cardholders that currently have a maxed-out credit card
Austin, TX95.50%5.6$7,306 35.40%5.30%5.30%
Dallas, TX94.60%5.9$7,156 38.80%6.30%6.00%
Houston, TX94.40%5.9$7,483 42.00%7.30%6.70%
El Paso, TX93.70%5.9$6,545 44.90%7.10%5.30%
San Antonio, TX93.10%5.6$7,237 43.40%7.80%6.70%
McAllen, TX92.80%6.3$6,485 44.00%7.70%5.70%
Brownsville, TX92.60%6.1$5,900 42.70%6.90%5.40%
Killeen, TX91.30%5.1$6,729 48.60%9.40%6.90%
Beaumont, TX90.80%4.8$5,751 57.10%10.20%9.10%
Corpus Christi, TX90.10%5.7$6,950 45.40%8.40%8.00%
Texas Average93.60%5.7$6,999 41.80%7.20%6.60%
National Average94.20%5.6$6,569 37.70%6.40%5.90%

Note: The statewide average includes residents from the entire state, not just the metropolitan areas included here. For that reason, the averages of the cities shown will not necessarily equal the statewide average shown.

Source: Review of anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021

Credit card laws in Texas

Credit card laws can be confusing, and they can vary significantly from one state to another.

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about state laws related to credit cards in Texas.

What is the statute of limitations on credit card debt in Texas?

The statute of limitations on debt in Texas is four years. That means that after four years, debt collectors are barred from being able to file suit to collect on the debt.

A 2019 state law also requires debt collectors to provide written notice to the debtor if they are trying to collect debt after the statute of limitations on that debt has passed.

Can your bank account be garnished for credit card debt in Texas?

Yes. It is legal for debt collectors to freeze a bank account and seize your funds in order to collect on credit card debt in Texas. It requires a court order called a “writ of garnishment” and allows access to funds that have already been deposited into the account.

However, wage garnishment – the redirection of funds from your paycheck directly to the entity you owe – is not allowed under Texas state law. The Texas Constitution only allows wage garnishment for a few specific kinds of debt, including child support, student loans and taxes. Credit card debt is not among those subject to wage garnishment.

In short, your wages cannot be sent directly from your employer to your debtor in Texas, but once those funds are in your account, those funds can be taken as long as there is a court order allowing them to do so.

Are credit card surcharges legal in Texas?

There is a law in Texas against credit card surcharges — extra fees that a merchant requires a customer pay when the customer buys something with a credit card – but in 2018, a federal judge ruled that the law could no longer be enforced. That means credit card surcharges are now allowed, in most cases, in Texas.

Sources

  • More than 1 million anonymized LendingTree users’ credit reports from January 2021 through February 2021
  • United States Census Bureau population data
  • Website for the Texas State Law Library