Ogden credit card debt is on the rise due to the pandemic

Jul 28, 2020, 9:08 PM | Updated: 9:09 pm
(Photo Credit: CNN/Shutterstock)...
(Photo Credit: CNN/Shutterstock)
(Photo Credit: CNN/Shutterstock)

OGDEN, Utah- The Chief Credit Analyst for Lending Tree reported Ogden credit card debt has the highest percentage of debt out of 100 cities studied. 

Matt Schulz says due to the business shutdowns, government stimulus checks, and unemployment insurance, Americans were able to pay down some of their debt. “Believe me that is not something that happens during an economic crisis… usually things go the other way.  But the impact of the government stimulus and unemployment benefits have really changed things.” 

Schulz study of credit card balances of people in 100 American cities shows a drop in the first few months of the pandemic.  From February to May, their balances fell from an average of $7057 to $6588.  People were able to get rid of 459 bucks of debt, on average.  That’s a percentage change of -6.6%.  The numbers get even more exaggerated in cities along the Wasatch Front.

“Big drops in Provo and Salt Lake City.  [Both cities] saw their balances drop by about 10% or more, ” says Schulz.  Salt Lake City saw the 17th biggest savings in the study, with a drop of $612 in card debt, or -9.7%.  Provo is ranked 8 with a drop of $692, or a whopping -12.10%. Schulz isn’t surprised about this Provo and SLC.  “Utah and the western US tends to do a pretty good job in handling their credit card bills.”  

That’s what makes voice rise a bit when he talks about the outlier: Ogden, UT. “[Odgen] had the biggest increase [in credit card debt] in the hundred cities that we looked at.  Credit card balances [there] grew 3.4%, they ADDED to their debt by $185.” And Schulz doesn’t know exactly why Ogden credit card debt is higher, either. 

He offers one explanation. “Perhaps businesses in [Ogden] were less impacted by the virus than cities like Salt Lake… and thus [people] used their stimulus check to spend.”

Another view is from Utahn Scott Schaefer, Professor of Finance at the University of Utah.  He knows that the state shut down as a whole in March, and restrictions were universal across Utah.  But he can’t definitively say, either. 

“One hypothesis I have is that Weber county is the poorest of the big four Wasatch Front counties.  Davis, Utah, and Salt Lake all have a higher median income than Weber.”  Also, Schaefer posits it may have something to do with the unemployment bonus. 

“There are studies out there showing that the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits seem to have reduced poverty nationally, but you have to be on unemployment to get that.  Weber County’s unemployment rate is already back down to 5.2% from a pre-COVID level of around 3%, so there aren’t many people in Weber county pulling in the $600 per week, at least not compared to national averages.”


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

US President Joe Biden discusses funding for the "Hudson Tunnel Project" at the West Side Rail Yard...
Kevin Liptak, MJ Lee, Jeremy Diamond and Paula Reid, CNN

FBI finds no classified documents at Biden’s Delaware vacation home

Reporters positioned in the coastal community observed black sport utility vehicles and sedans arriving to the home mid-morning.
18 hours ago
Watershed Enhancement Trust, which aims to get water back to the lake. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret ...
Amie Schaeffer

$40M Great Salt Lake trust beginning work with newly formed council

The council will assist the trust as it looks for solutions to improve lake water levels.
18 hours ago
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish ...
Kate Sullivan and Kylie Atwood, CNN

Nikki Haley expected to announce presidential run in Charleston on Feb. 15

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce her intention to run for President in a few weeks.
18 hours ago
A bill that could make its way to the Utah legislature in the 2023 session would require school dis...
Mark Jones

Potential redesign of new Utah State Flag emphasizes Native American tribes

Sen. Dan McCay (R-Riverton) is sponsoring a bill that would call for a slight redesign of the new Utah State Flag.
2 days ago
A pair of bills in the Utah Legislature address if and how Utah teens could use social media. One w...
Lindsay Aerts

Bill would require parental permission for Utah teens to use social media

Two bills circulating at the 2023 Utah Legislative Session involve social media, parents, and their teens. A group of tech CEOs opposes one.
2 days ago
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs after attending a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill ...
Manu Raju and Melanie Zanona, CNN

George Santos wants off of his committees until issues are resolved

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told CNN that it was Santos' decision that he made on his own to "abstain" from the committees.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Ogden credit card debt is on the rise due to the pandemic