WASHINGTON, D.C. (CW69 News at 10) — A recent Wallethub study shows U.S. consumers made record progress in eliminating substantial amounts of credit card debt during the first quarter of 2020. The bad news is, that was just before COVID-19 derailed the paydown train.

The main findings of the report indicate:

The $60.4 billion in credit card debt paid during Q1 2020 is the highest paydown since at least 1986 (and 71% higher than the post-Great Recession average for a first quarter).

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The study ranked the cities with the biggest and smallest credit card debt paydown during the quarter, and several Metro Atlanta cities made the list.

According to the report, the top three Metro Atlanta cities with the biggest Q1 paydowns were: Dacula, Evans and Roswell. This is based on the total first quarter credit card debts for the respective cities.

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Union City, Forest Park and Clarkston ranked among the cities with the smallest paydowns for the quarter.

For background, the Wallethub study shows Americans started off the year carrying the weight of $1 trillion in credit card debt, before the record-breaking $60.4 billion paydown. Researchers said the debt included a nearly $77 billion net increase in 2019.

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Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted things in the opposite direction, Wallethub projects Americans will rack up $80 billion in credit card debt by the end of 2020, bringing the debt load up to more than $140 billion.