Millennial Auto Debt Is Growing Faster Than Other Generations’

Millennial Auto Debt Is Growing Faster Than Other Generations' article image.

While millennials' auto debt is the fastest-growing of any generation, they still owe less on their auto loans than the national average. Millennials—consumers between ages 23 and 38—carry an average auto loan balance of $18,201, according to Experian data from the second quarter (Q2) of 2019.

That's 5% less than the national average of $19,231 but 22% more than members of Generation Z, who held $14,272, the lowest average auto debt, in Q2 2019.

As part of a larger ongoing review of auto loan trends, Experian analyzed U.S. consumer credit data from Q2 2019 to find out how millennials' auto debt and credit compared with their peers. Read on for our insights and analysis.

Millennials Follow Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in Average Auto Debt

Millennial consumers carry the third-highest average auto loan debt of any generation, according to Experian data from Q2 2019. Members of Gen X carried the highest average auto loan debt, with an average of $21,570 per consumer, followed by baby boomers, who had an average auto loan balance of $18,759, as of Q2 2019.

Average Auto Debt by Generation
GenerationAverage FICO® Score Average Auto Debt Q2 2018Average Auto Debt Q2 2019Year-Over-Year Change
Generation Z667$13,601$14,272+5%
Generation X688$21,154$21,570+2%
Baby Boomers731$18,713$18,7590%
Silent Generation756$14,647$14,498-1%

*Source: Experian Q2 2019 data

Millennial Auto Debt Saw Highest Increase Among All Generations

Millennial consumers saw the largest increase in their auto debt since 2012, with their average balance growing 28%, according to Experian data. Generation X also experienced a big jump in the past seven years, increasing their average consumer auto debt by 27%.

Compared with Q2 2018, millennial debt saw the second-largest jump in auto loan debt, growing 3% to its current level. Generation Z—consumers between ages 18 and 22—experienced the largest increase in the same period, with auto balances growing by 5%.

Wyoming Has Highest Average Auto Balances Among Millennials

Millennials in Wyoming have the highest average auto loan balances among states, according to Experian data from Q2 2019. Wyoming millennials carry an average auto balance of $24,414, which is 34% higher than other millennial consumers across the country.

This finding is not surprising, as Wyoming also holds the highest auto loan balances of any other state across all generations, with consumers carrying an average of $24,368 in auto debt. The other states where millennial consumers had the highest balances were also in the top 10 in the nation for auto debt across all generations.

States With the Highest Average Millennial Auto Debt
StateAverage FICO® ScoreAverage Auto Debt Q2 2019Average Total Debt Q2 2019
New Mexico643$22,797$67,319
Puerto Rico659$22,205$41,635

*Source: Experian Q2 2019 data

Millennials in Michigan Have Lowest Average Auto Debt

Michigan millennial consumers hold the lowest average auto loan balances among states, according to Experian data, at $13,768. That's 28% lower than the national average and 24% lower than the U.S. average among just millennials. Michigan is also the state with the lowest average auto loan debt across all generations.

The other states where millennials have the lowest auto loan balances are also states where consumers across all generations carried the lowest average auto debt in Q2 2019.

States With the Lowest Average Millennial Auto Debt
StateAverage FICO® ScoreAverage Auto Debt Q2 2019Average Total Debt Q2 2019
Rhode Island675$13,951$77,879
New Jersey685$14,780$82,174

*Source: Experian Q2 2019 data

Millennial Debt Is Increasing Across All Credit Products

Similar to the trends occurring across other millennial debt products, an increase in auto debt is not surprising for this generation. As millennials grow older, their overall debt is increasing. This is true when it comes to auto loans, student loans, credit cards and mortgage debt.

Methodology: The analysis results provided are based on an Experian-created statistically relevant aggregate sampling of our consumer credit database that may include use of the FICO® Score 8 version. Different sampling parameters may generate different findings compared with other similar analysis. Analyzed credit data did not contain personal identification information. Metro areas group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for population censuses and compilations of related statistical data.

FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through December 31, 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.