Coffee Break

Which City’s Residents Are In the Most Debt?

If you know anyone in Dallas, now might not be the best time to hit them up for a loan.

According to a new study, that famous Texas city has the highest consumer debt levels in the nation, so maybe your friend in Dallas is feeling a bit over-stretched these days. Meanwhile, the citizens of beleaguered Detroit have the lowest levels of debt.

Credit bureau Experian has just released its Credit Trends study, tracking current debt levels and credit scores in the top 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas. Along with the aforementioned extremes, the study shows that, overall, Americans have increased their debt by 5% compared to four years ago.

In 2010, Americans in these top metros had an average VantageScore credit score of 665, and an average debt accumulation of $24,678. By 2014, that debt level had increased to $25,927 on average. The average VantageScore remained the same, at 665.

Other metro areas with relatively lower consumer debt levels included Los Angeles ($24,361 average), Miami ($24,884) and New York ($25,396). Cities with relatively higher debt levels included Seattle ($27,279), Washington, D.C. ($27,668) and Houston ($28,105).

As you can see, the spread between higher and lower debt is fairly narrow – and it really hasn’t increased all that much since 2010. Despite years of sluggish wage growth, Americans still seem reluctant to pile on the debt. That’s probably a good thing.


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