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In the past year, Wyoming took the lead as the state where consumers carried the highest average auto loan debt in the U.S. Unseating Texas, which held the top spot for the past four years, Wyoming—a significantly smaller state—now leads the country with an average auto loan balance of $24,368, according to Experian data from the second quarter (Q2) of 2019.
Wyoming's average balance is 27% higher than the national average of $19,231 and 66% higher than the state with the lowest average balance, Michigan, where consumers carried an average of $14,698 in auto loan debt.
As part of our larger ongoing review of auto loan trends, Experian analyzed consumer credit data from Q2 2019 to find out in which states consumers carried the highest average auto debt. Read on for our insights and analysis.
Texas Has the Second-Highest Average Auto Debt in U.S.
Auto loan debt recently reached a record high in the U.S., totaling $1.2 trillion in outstanding auto loan balances. In Q2 2019, Wyoming had the highest average consumer auto loan balance of any state, followed by Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Michigan Consumers Have the Lowest Average Auto Debt
Michigan had the lowest auto loan balances of all 50 states, with consumers carrying an average of $14,698 in Q2 2019, according to Experian data. That's 31% lower than the national average and considerably lower than any of the top 10 states. Michigan was followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey, which made up the five states with the lowest consumer auto debt.
FICO® Scores in Wyoming Are Higher Than Average
Among the top 10 states with the highest consumer auto loan debt, only two had average FICO® Scores that were greater than the national average. Alaska's average FICO® Score was 707, four points above the national average of 703. Wyoming had an average FICO® Score of 712, nine points higher than the national average and 32 points higher than Texas' average of 680, according to Experian data from Q2 2019.
When it comes to consumers in the states with the lowest auto loan balances, as listed in the chart above, the average FICO® Scores were consistently above the national average. The lowest average FICO® Score among this group was 705, which is two points higher than the national average. The top FICO® Score among these states was in Vermont, where consumers had an average score of 726.
These high FICO® Scores are somewhat surprising considering consumers in higher credit tiers often carry more debt than their peers. An explanation could be in the average number of delinquencies each of these groups carry: The average number of delinquent tradelines among the top 10 states with the highest auto loan balances was 2.3 per consumer, while consumers in the 10 states with the lowest auto loan balances had an average of 1.7, according to Experian data from Q2 2019.
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.