LendingTree Study Finds Millennials in the South Owe the Most on Their Cars

Released  November 6, 2018
By Megan Greuling

CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 31, 2018 – LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its study on where millennials owe the most on their cars.

Auto loans make up the second biggest share of millennial non-mortgage debt, according to LendingTree’s recent study on places where millennials carry the most debt. LendingTree researchers next concentrated on that car debt, analyzing anonymous credit report data from My LendingTree users born between 1981 and 1996 and living in the 100 largest metros in the U.S.

The results, ranked by median balance, show where millennials are the most and least burdened by auto debt.

Key findings

  • Even car loans are bigger in Texas. Metros in the Lone Star State dominate the top of the list: McAllen, Houston, El Paso and San Antonio have the highest median auto loan balances for millennials at $23,704, $20,925, $20,544 and $20,521 respectively. 
  • Car capital of the world has the lowest auto debt. Ironically, Motor City has the lowest levels of millennial auto debt on our list with a median debt of $10,841 as well as the lowest average debt of $14,573.
  • Great Lakes area metros shine with the least auto debt. After Detroit, millennials in Rochester, N.Y., Grand Rapids, Toledo, Ohio, and Cleveland carry the lowest median auto debts, at $12,165, $12,429, $12,678 and $12,717 respectively.
  • New York and Ogden, Utah. These metros are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to carrying any auto debt at all — New York has the lowest percentage of millennials with auto debt at 41.5 percent while Ogden, Utah has the highest percentage of millennials with auto debt (64.5 percent).

 
The top 5 places where millennials owe the most on their cars

1. McAllen, Texas
Median balance: $23,704
Right on the border with Mexico, this mid-sized city is one of the poorest communities in the country. Its millennial generation takes the top tier for deep auto debt.
It’s not just tops — McAllen is a strong outlier. Millennials here have a median auto debt 13 percent higher than the No. 2 city on this list. Their average balance of $31,598 is shockingly high, $5,000 more than Houston.

2. Houston
Median balance: $20,925
The fourth-largest city in the U.S., Houston has a median balance significantly lower than McAllen, but it’s still relatively high. It tops El Paso, No. 3 on the list, by only 1.85 percent on median balance. Across the board, it also has high auto debt numbers, including an average auto loan balance of $26,471.

3. El Paso, Texas
Median balance: $20,544
El Paso is a 12-hour drive west of McAllen on the tri-border between Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. It’s the second mid-sized Texas city on the Mexican border to rank in the top three on this list. While its median balance is lower than Houston’s, its average balance ($27,010) is 2 percent higher.

 4. San Antonio
Median balance: $20,521
The seventh-largest city in the U.S., with two huge Air Force bases, San Antonio also goes by the name “Military City.” Plenty of flags in the city are emblazoned with a picture of a cannon and the words “come and take it.” This type of culture might be a factor as to why San Antonio ranks high for auto debt, including a total average auto balance of $25,745.

5. Baton Rouge, La.
Median balance: $20,124
The only city in the top five that is not in Texas, Baton Rouge has the smallest population of the five cities with around 824,000 people. Its millennial population has only slightly lower balances than No.4 San Antonio in both median and average balances, the latter of which is $25,732, only $13 less.
 
To view the full report, visit https://www.lendingtree.com/auto/where-millennials-owe-most-on-cars/.
 

Places Where Millennials Owe the Most on Their Cars Among Those Who Have Auto Loan Balances
Rank Metro Median Auto Balance Average Auto Balance % of Millennials Who Have a Current Balance
1 McAllen, Texas $23,704 $31,598 61.20%
2 Houston $20,925 $26,471 59.30%
3 El Paso, Texas $20,544 $27,010 61.90%
4 San Antonio $20,521 $25,745 61.60%
5 Baton Rouge, La. $20,124 $25,732 58.90%
6 Little Rock, Ark. $19,987 $25,225 63.30%
7 Albuquerque, N.M. $19,298 $25,095 56.60%
8 Dallas $19,123 $24,228 59.80%
9 Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. $18,578 $23,345 60.30%
10 Phoenix $18,568 $23,289 59.50%
11 Tucson, Ariz. $18,305 $22,832 55.60%
12 Birmingham, Ala. $18,274 $21,924 56.20%
13 Las Vegas $18,244 $22,818 59.90%
14 Riverside, Calif. $18,203 $22,969 58.90%
15 New Orleans $18,160 $22,547 50.70%
16 Jackson, Miss. $18,057 $22,136 53.30%
17 Bakersfield, Calif. $18,046 $24,268 61.60%
18 Honolulu $18,007 $22,386 52.40%
19 Tulsa, Okla. $17,933 $22,272 53.70%
20 Austin, Texas $17,799 $22,184 57.80%
21 Oklahoma City $17,718 $23,088 58.50%
22 Charleston, S.C. $17,519 $21,358 56.60%
23 Jacksonville, Fla. $17,504 $22,538 60.80%
24 Augusta, Ga. $17,408 $22,238 60.10%
25 Melbourne, Fla. $17,307 $20,256 58.50%
26 Atlanta $17,286 $21,511 53.00%
27 Sarasota, Fla. $17,248 $21,450 60.10%
28 Colorado Springs, Colo. $17,150 $22,121 62.80%
29 Columbia, S.C. $17,123 $21,102 57.10%
30 Fresno, Calif. $17,113 $22,205 54.60%
31 Daytona Beach, Fla. $17,071 $21,475 61.70%
32 Virginia Beach, Va. $17,031 $21,260 59.20%
33 San Jose, Calif. $17,027 $21,020 51.70%
34 Chattanooga, Tenn. $16,845 $20,307 55.30%
35 Memphis, Tenn. $16,830 $20,863 54.10%
36 Fort Myers, Fla. $16,816 $19,908 63.50%
37 San Francisco $16,766 $21,209 46.20%
38 Greenville, S.C. $16,640 $20,839 52.00%
39 Stockton, Calif. $16,605 $22,171 57.80%
40 Boise, Idaho $16,504 $21,721 59.20%
41 Knoxville, Tenn. $16,392 $21,219 58.00%
42 Seattle $16,376 $20,643 54.60%
43 Tampa, Fla. $16,282 $20,488 59.50%
44 Baltimore $16,180 $19,656 57.50%
45 Des Moines, Iowa $16,154 $20,651 62.50%
46 Washington $16,152 $20,208 52.50%
47 Kansas City, Mo. $16,138 $20,091 58.70%
48 Raleigh, N.C. $16,079 $19,375 47.50%
49 Wichita, Kan. $16,036 $21,431 63.00%
50 Nashville, Tenn. $16,021 $19,719 54.10%
51 Oxnard, Calif. $15,951 $21,352 58.50%
52 Orlando, Fla. $15,936 $19,733 56.30%
53 San Diego $15,922 $19,899 55.10%
54 Charlotte, N.C. $15,785 $20,629 55.90%
55 Denver $15,771 $19,985 55.80%
56 Chicago $15,759 $19,084 52.60%
57 Greensboro, N.C. $15,736 $19,436 51.40%
58 Pittsburgh $15,552 $19,267 58.50%
59 Richmond, Va. $15,492 $19,803 55.30%
60 Portland, Ore. $15,483 $19,667 51.00%
61 Sacramento, Calif. $15,406 $20,130 52.90%
62 Ogden, Utah $15,359 $19,743 64.50%
63 Spokane, Wash. $15,344 $20,223 49.80%
64 Miami $15,238 $18,798 54.00%
65 St. Louis $15,169 $19,505 59.40%
66 Winston-Salem, N.C. $15,088 $20,009 51.60%
67 Syracuse, N.Y. $15,086 $18,423 61.10%
68 Indianapolis $15,044 $19,277 58.40%
69 Salt Lake City $15,031 $20,187 59.20%
70 Worcester, Mass. $14,959 $18,140 60.00%
71 Omaha, Neb. $14,866 $18,489 59.70%
72 Los Angeles $14,847 $18,860 52.80%
73 Provo, Utah $14,722 $21,004 60.60%
74 Cincinnati $14,583 $18,829 59.80%
75 Dayton, Ohio $14,502 $18,342 57.50%
76 Scranton, Pa. $14,500 $17,988 54.10%
77 Allentown, Pa. $14,408 $18,381 60.40%
78 Louisville, Ky. $14,304 $18,077 53.30%
79 Philadelphia $14,075 $17,176 52.40%
80 Columbus, Ohio $14,067 $17,600 59.40%
81 Springfield, Mass. $13,976 $17,327 53.80%
82 Albany, N.Y. $13,789 $18,117 56.70%
83 Harrisburg, Pa. $13,750 $17,471 55.50%
84 New York $13,736 $17,073 41.50%
85 Hartford, Conn. $13,718 $15,989 56.00%
86 Madison, Wis. $13,643 $16,551 57.50%
87 Providence, R.I. $13,459 $16,403 54.80%
88 Milwaukee $13,356 $16,276 55.00%
89 Buffalo, N.Y. $13,348 $17,119 62.50%
90 Akron, Ohio $13,336 $16,002 62.60%
91 Minneapolis $13,250 $17,053 52.10%
92 Youngstown, Pa. $13,208 $16,878 61.00%
93 Boston $13,200 $16,673 52.60%
94 New Haven, Conn. $13,142 $15,220 56.10%
95 Bridgeport, Conn. $12,861 $15,130 53.50%
96 Cleveland $12,717 $15,871 59.60%
97 Toledo, Ohio $12,678 $15,825 58.40%
98 Grand Rapids, Mich. $12,429 $14,956 51.10%
99 Rochester, N.Y. $12,165 $15,962 60.10%
100 Detroit $10,841 $14,573 54.60%
  Average $16,023 $20,207 56.80%

 
 
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.