Market Overview

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

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

LendingTree logo (PRNewsfoto/LendingTree)

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

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