Spending Within Their Means: Some Cities Do It Better Than Others
CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 31, 2018 – LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its study on how where Americans are spending within (and beyond) their means across the U.S.
To determine where people can afford their financial obligations, LendingTree analysts combed through anonymized credit report data of My LendingTree users from August 2018 and compared it to the average household income from the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. The ranking of the 50 largest metro areas factored in data such as the number of credit inquiries from the past two years, the use of revolving credit lines, non-housing debt and mortgage balances.
- It may come as a surprise, but some of the most expensive U.S. cities have residents living within their budgets, suggesting that higher education and greater income may be the most salient factors for living within your means.
- San Jose, Calif. (Silicon Valley), San Francisco and Raleigh, N.C., top the list for cities in which people are living within their means. High incomes help residents of San Jose and San Francisco pay their bills (despite exceptionally high housing costs), while a modest mortgage-to-income ratio gives Raleigh a big boost.
- Residents of San Antonio, Riverside, Calif., and Las Vegas are struggling to meet their bills. We know from previous studies that people spend a lot on vehicles in San Antonio, incomes are very low in Riverside and unemployment runs high in Las Vegas.
Where people excel at keeping to their budgets
1. San Jose
San Jose might be in one of the most expensive states to buy a home (California ranks third in monthly mortgage payments, behind Washington, D.C., and Hawaii), but residents here have the least amount of debt among residents in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas.
The average millennial living in San Jose owes around $18,000 in non-mortgage debt, which is about $5,000 less than the average young person in the country. Among that debt, student loans — which typically accounts for 40 percent of young people’s total credit and loan balances — were the lowest in San Jose at 24.1 percent.
2. San Francisco
Thanks to the booming tech industry, San Francisco is easily one of the most expensive places to live. Yet, LendingTree’s data shows residents here living within their means: San Francisco residents have a revolving credit utilization of 27.4 percent, compared with the 50-metro average of 32.6 percent, and a non-housing debt balance that’s 27.7 percent, which is, again, well below the average of 43.7 percent of income.
Still, sky-high home prices mean San Francisco residents endure a mortgage debt of 123.9 percent of their income. This is among the highest, only behind other California cities — Sacramento (126.5 percent), San Diego (131.1 percent) and Riverside (131.1 percent).
The capital of North Carolina is known for being one of the largest technology and scholarly hubs, fueled by the well-educated population residing in the college town. Surrounding colleges and universities include Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, North Carolina State University and Shaw University.
Here, residents have a revolving credit utilization of 32.9 percent, a non-mortgage debt of 41.9 percent of income and a mortgage debt of 72.8 percent of income.
Earlier this year, Minneapolis, along with the state’s capital, St. Paul, ranked ninth on U.S. News' list of the "Best Affordable Places to Live." The median annual salary in the Twin Cities is $55,010, and the average home price is just over $237,000.
Residents have a good chance to get a job here with an unemployment rate of 3 percent in Minneapolis — lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent — at the end of 2017. Residents in Minneapolis have a revolving credit utilization of 31.7 percent, a non-mortgage debt of 40.1% of income and a mortgage debt of 86.3 percent of income.
In 2016, half of all workers in Massachusetts had at least a bachelor’s degree. This is partly because the state is home to some prestigious colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (also known as MIT) and Boston University. Additionally, many top-rated hospitals and doctors are located here.
This historic city is great for those wanting to live in a small town with big-city perks. Boston’s higher education could mean residents aren’t struggling to make ends meet as much as the rest of the country. Residents here have a revolving credit utilization of 31.6 percent, a non-mortgage debt of 33.7 percent of income and a mortgage debt of 96.8 percent of income.
To view the full report, visit https://www.lendingtree.com/debt-consolidation/places-where-people-spend-within-their-means/.
|Where People Are Spending Within (and Beyond) Their Means 2018|
|Rank||Metro||Final Score||Credit Inquiries (Last 2 Years)||Revolving Credit Utilization||Non-Housing Debt, % of Income||Mortgage Debt, % of Income|
|1||San Jose, Calif.||73.6||3.8||27.30%||23.50%||107.00%|
|9||Kansas City, Mo.||62.3||6.2||30.80%||44.00%||70.70%|
|16||Salt Lake City||58.6||4.5||32.20%||39.00%||98.60%|
|43||Virginia Beach, Va.||39.5||4.1||36.30%||47.50%||94.90%|
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 proacti