OKLAHOMA CITY – While the economy is slowly getting better, it seems Americans are still in debt.
More than a third of the country struggles paying debts on time, according to a study released by the Urban Institute.
Researchers analysed the credit files of nearly 7 million Americans.
Organizers say they looked at non-mortgage debt, which usually grew from credit cards, vehicle loans and student loans.
It also includes debt in collections, like delinquent medical debt and unpaid utility bills.
According to the study, nearly 12 million adults have non-mortgage debt that has been reported past due.
On average, they need to pay about $2,200 to become current on that debt.
In all, there are 77 million Americans with debt in collections who owe an average of $5,200.
The study also broke the debt into different regions.
In some southern states, including Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama, more than 40 percent of the population with a credit file has debt in collections.
According to the study, the average Oklahoma resident has $38,639 in debt, which is near the bottom of the list.
The lowest average debt is $31,065 in Mississippi, but it also has one of the lowest average household incomes across the country.