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Millennial Auto Debt Is Growing Faster Than Other Generations

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 2018
Average Auto Debt
Q2 2019
Year-Over-Year Change
Generation Z667$13,601$14,272+5%
Millennials668$17,685$18,201+3%
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 2019
verage Total Debt
Q2 2019
Wyoming672$24,414$96,534
New Mexico643$22,797$67,319
Texas649$22,607$72,094
Louisiana639$22,479$73,072
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 2019
Average Total Debt
Q2 2019
Michigan665$13,768$65,685
Rhode Island675$13,951$77,879
Massachusetts695$14,571$93,193
New Jersey685$14,780$82,174
Connecticut682$14,810$83,269

*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.


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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. MSA is the acronym for metropolitan statistical area, which groups 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.

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