Experian® Expertise for your business



Seattle tops in VantageScore,
Also leads in average debt per consumer


The current economy has many of us wondering how the country is faring when it comes to debt.  Are we sinking below the national average and if we are---what can we do?  In May, Experian released its findings on average debt per consumer in the top 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.  Approximately 65 percent of these areas exceeded the national average consumer debt, which was $24,775 in March.   These numbers include the average amount of money owed per individual on all credit cards, auto loans and personal loans. This does not include real estate mortgages. 

Within the top 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas, Seattle is the most debt-burdened city, coming in at almost $2,000 above the national average debt per consumer, while Los Angeles has the lowest average debt.

Take a closer look at the rankings below: 

Metropolitan areas 

  1. Seattle
  2. Dallas
  3. Denver
  4. Atlanta
  5. Phoenix
  6. Houston 
  7. Washington, D.C.  
  8. Tampa
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Orlando 
  11. Minneapolis 
  12. Detroit 
  13. Sacramento 
  14. Chicago
  15. Boston
  16. Cleveland
  17. New York 
  18. San Francisco
  19. Miami
  20. Los Angeles

Average debt per consumer

  • $26,646
  • $26,599
  • $26,428
  • $26,063
  • $26,035
  • $25,790
  • $25,702
  • $25,603
  • $25,544
  • $25,316
  • $25,115
  • $24,995
  • $24,826
  • $24,781
  • $24,670
  • $24,669
  • $24,444
  • $24,429
  • $24,334
  • $24,009

According to Maxine Sweet, Experian's Vice President of Public Education, "It's important to look at the whole picture when evaluating how consumers are actually managing their credit.  Seattle ranks the highest in terms of average debt per consumer. However, additional data shows that Seattle's consumers have very few late payments and are not maxing out their credit cards, so they are using their credit wisely and maintaining higher credit scores." 

These numbers, along with a number of tips on how consumers can manage their debt has been written about in numerous daily newspapers and broadcast news outlets.

  • © Experian 2010. All rights reserved.