LendingTree Study: Places Where Millennials Carry the Most Debt

September 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM EDT
LendingTree's latest study finds student loans make up the biggest share of millennial debt and millennials in San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Austin shoulder the largest debt burdens

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- LendingTree®, the nation's leading online loan marketplace, today released its study on the places where millennials carry the most debt. The study found that student loans make up the biggest share of millennial debt, but auto loans are close behind. The study revealed that the typical urban millennial carries significant debt; the average debt balance for millennials living in the 50 biggest U.S. cities is $23,064.

LendingTree logo (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)

LendingTree researchers analyzed anonymized credit report data of My LendingTree users who live in the 50 biggest metro areas in the U.S. Looking at debt balances (excluding mortgages) for those born between 1981 and 1996, they determined:

  • Where millennials have the biggest non-mortgage median debt obligations
  • The average breakdown of debt obligations by five different debt types: student, auto, credit cards, personal loans and other

The results revealed a snapshot of millennials' debt balances, along with the major U.S. cities in which millennials are the most (and least) indebted.

Key findings:

  • Millennials in San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Austin, Texas, shoulder the largest debt burdens of the 50 biggest metros, with median non-mortgage debts of $27,122, $26,403 and $26,164, respectively.
  • Three California cities — San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles — have the lowest median balances on the list at $18,376, $18,691 and $19,299, respectively.
  • Student debt makes up the largest share of millennial debt, accounting for 40 percent of their total credit and loan balances. The proportion of student debt was highest in Philadelphia, at 49.1 percent of the average debt burden, and lowest in San Jose at 24.1 percent. This was also the largest debt category for millennials in 35 of the 50 cities reviewed.
  • Auto loan debt was the biggest debt burden of the other 15 metros and averaged about 33 percent of millennials' average total debt balances. Auto loans accounted for over 43 percent of the average debt for millennials in Riverside, Calif., and San Antonio, but just over 22 percent of New York City millennials' debt.

The U.S. cities where millennials carry the most debt

In the top 10 cities, more than half of millennials have outstanding debts totaling $25,000 or more (not including mortgages), and roughly 1 in 4 millennials living in these cities owes more than $50,000.

Millennials in the South appear to be borrowing more — eight of the top 10 cities are in this region, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas, in particular, dominates the list of indebted millennials. San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas are among the 10 cities where millennials owe the most.

The 10 Places Where Millennials Carry the Most Debt

(Excluding Mortgages)

Rank

Metro

Median
Balance

1

San Antonio

$27,122

2

Pittsburgh

$26,403

3

Austin, Texas

$26,164

4

Houston

$25,978

5

Jacksonville, Fla.

$25,947

6

Dallas

$25,939

7

Washington

$25,810

8

Virginia Beach, Va.

$25,591

9

Oklahoma City

$25,351

10

Columbus, Ohio

$25,129

Here are the five cities where millennials are taking on the most non-mortgage debt.

1. San Antonio

Median balance: $27,122

Millennials in this Texas city had the highest levels of debt in the nation, owing $4,058 more than the median debt balance for millennials across all 50 cities surveyed.

San Antonio's millennials also tend to owe the most on their cars, with that accounting for 43.2 percent of their total debt balances.

2. Pittsburgh

Median balance: $26,403

The millennial cohort in Pittsburgh has a higher portion of student debt, at 45.7 percent, meaning educational loans account for almost half of what they owe.

3. Austin

Median balance: $26,164

Next is the capital of Texas. Here, young adults have some of the highest amounts of credit card debt, accounting for 18.1 percent of their total outstanding debts.

4. Houston

Median balance: $25,978

Millennials in Houston, like others in Texas, tend to owe the most on their car loans. In this city, auto loans make up 42.5 percent of the total balances of millennials' outstanding debts.

5. Jacksonville, Fla.

Median balance: $25,947

The largest debts for Jacksonville millennials are their car loans, which are about on par with student debt. These two types of debt account for 38.5 percent and 37.1 percent of the totals millennials owe, respectively.

"The millennial generation makes up the younger portion of adults, and as they build their careers, families and communities, they're doing it encumbered by personal debt," said Kali McFadden, the LendingTree senior research analyst who led the study.

To view the full report, visit: https://www.lendingtree.com/finance/places-millennials-carry-the-most-debt/.

Breakdown of Millennial Debt

(Excluding Mortgages)

Metro

Average
Balance

Biggest Debt Category

Student Debts

Auto
Loans

Credit Cards

Personal Loans

Other
Debts

San Antonio

$38,336

Auto

30.2%

43.2%

14.8%

9.4%

2.4%

Pittsburgh

$38,372

Student

45.7%

28.6%

15.2%

9.2%

1.3%

Austin, Texas

$36,454

Auto

35.4%

37.1%

18.1%

7.6%

1.8%

Houston

$37,323

Auto

29.9%

42.5%

16.0%

9.5%

2.0%

Jacksonville, Fla.

$37,236

Auto

37.1%

38.5%

15.1%

7.8%

1.6%

Dallas

$36,775

Auto

33.3%

39.9%

16.0%

8.8%

1.9%

Washington

$41,872

Student

46.9%

25.9%

17.0%

9.2%

1.0%

Virginia Beach, Va.

$36,323

Student

35.4%

32.1%

18.9%

11.9%

1.8%

Oklahoma City

$35,980

Auto

37.1%

39.3%

13.4%

8.5%

1.6%

Columbus, Ohio

$37,118

Student

48.1%

29.2%

14.6%

7.0%

1.1%

Birmingham, Ala.

$36,776

Student

41.9%

35.0%

12.0%

9.5%

1.5%

Phoenix

$36,281

Auto

35.0%

40.2%

14.8%

8.1%

1.9%

Buffalo, N.Y.

$36,944

Student

46.4%

29.1%

15.9%

7.5%

1.0%

Atlanta

$37,737

Student

46.1%

31.6%

14.0%

6.8%

1.6%

Kansas City, Mo.

$35,369

Student

41.7%

34.1%

15.0%

7.8%

1.4%

Denver

$35,376

Student

40.1%

31.4%

18.3%

9.0%

1.2%

Indianapolis

$36,911

Student

44.2%

31.9%

14.3%

8.3%

1.4%

Charlotte, N.C.

$36,626

Student

42.4%

32.7%

15.1%

8.4%

1.4%

St. Louis

$34,941

Student

42.4%

33.4%

15.0%

8.1%

1.1%

Tampa, Fla.

$36,122

Student

40.2%

35.0%

16.3%

7.0%

1.5%

Cincinnati

$33,275

Student

40.2%

35.0%

14.8%

8.6%

1.4%

Nashville, Tenn.

$36,478

Student

44.4%

31.1%

15.0%

7.3%

2.3%

Hartford, Conn.

$35,110

Student

43.7%

25.5%

18.1%

11.5%

1.2%

Milwaukee

$33,817

Student

48.1%

26.9%

15.9%

7.4%

1.8%

Las Vegas

$35,045

Auto

31.0%

40.1%

18.2%

9.2%

1.4%

Baltimore

$36,417

Student

42.0%

31.6%

16.5%

8.6%

1.3%

Boston

$34,626

Student

46.3%

25.6%

18.6%

8.7%

0.9%

Philadelphia

$36,773

Student

49.1%

24.8%

15.8%

8.9%

1.4%

Minneapolis

$34,490

Student

47.5%

26.8%

14.9%

9.6%

1.2%

Chicago

$34,832

Student

44.1%

28.6%

18.0%

8.4%

1.0%

Memphis, Tenn.

$35,142

Student

45.3%

32.4%

12.4%

7.7%

2.3%

New Orleans

$36,648

Student

44.9%

31.4%

14.8%

7.7%

1.2%

Richmond, Va.

$33,666

Student

40.3%

33.8%

16.4%

8.4%

1.0%

Raleigh, N.C.

$34,574

Student

47.8%

26.6%

14.7%

8.4%

2.6%

Cleveland

$34,082

Student

46.5%

29.1%

15.8%

7.5%

1.2%

Orlando, Fla.

$32,084

Student

39.2%

35.6%

16.4%

7.2%

1.5%

Riverside, Calif.

$31,423

Auto

27.7%

43.5%

17.6%

9.7%

1.5%

Seattle

$31,260

Auto

30.8%

37.4%

19.5%

10.7%

1.7%

Portland, Ore.

$30,755

Student

40.9%

33.5%

17.3%

7.3%

1.1%

San Francisco

$31,697

Student

34.7%

31.3%

21.9%

11.0%

1.1%

San Diego

$31,470

Auto

31.2%

35.9%

21.6%

9.8%

1.5%

Miami

$32,910

Student

40.7%

31.4%

18.6%

8.0%

1.4%

Louisville, Ky.

$31,939

Student

43.9%

31.5%

14.4%

8.5%

1.8%

Providence, R.I.

$30,094

Student

38.6%

30.8%

18.7%

11.0%

0.9%

Salt Lake City

$31,174

Auto

31.2%

41.2%

17.7%

8.2%

1.7%

Detroit

$33,052

Student

48.4%

25.2%

16.3%

8.9%

1.2%

New York

$32,737

Student

44.6%

22.3%

21.6%

10.6%

0.9%

Los Angeles

$30,111

Auto

33.5%

33.6%

21.1%

10.1%

1.8%

Sacramento, Calif.

$29,160

Auto

31.6%

37.0%

19.2%

10.4%

1.8%

San Jose, Calif.

$28,399

Auto

24.1%

37.7%

26.5%

10.4%

1.4%

Average

$34,642


40.0%

32.9%

16.8%

8.8%

1.5%

About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers' credit accounts against offers on our network, and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree's purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life's meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Megan Greuling
704-943-8208
Megan.greuling@lendingtree.com

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SOURCE LendingTree