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When looking at which 25 cities in the U.S. carry the highest auto loan debt, Texas is home to all but one.
Texas is the second-largest state by land mass and has more than double the miles of public roads of any other state, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. And when it comes to the 25 cities where consumers carry the largest auto loan balances, Texas is home to 24, according to Experian data from the second quarter (Q2) of 2019.
As part of a larger ongoing review of auto loan trends, Experian analyzed consumer credit data from Q2 2019 to find out which cities carried the most auto debt. Read on for our insights and analysis.
Texas Is Home to Nearly All Cities With Top Auto Loan Balances
Of the top 25 cities where consumers carry the highest auto loan debt, the Puerto Rican city of Guaynabo is the only city not located in Texas.
Midland, Texas, topped the ranking with the most consumer auto debt, increasing 5% since the first quarter (Q1) of 2018 to an average balance of $33,847, according to Experian data. That's 76% higher than the national average of $19,231 and is more than double the debt carried by consumers in the city with the lowest amount of auto loan debt, Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Midland was followed by Odessa, Mission, Montgomery and Magnolia—all cities located in Texas.
Michigan Cities Carry the Lowest Average Auto Loan Balances
When it comes to cities with the lowest auto balances, Michigan is home to more than two-thirds of them—with just eight out of 25 cities located in other states. Consumers in Sterling Heights, Michigan, had the lowest average balance of $11,383 in auto debt in Q2 2019, according to Experian data. That's 41% lower than the national average and 66% lower than the average auto loan balance in Midland, Texas.
Sterling Heights was followed by Royal Oak, Michigan; St. Clair Shores, Michigan; Dearborn, Michigan; and Lakewood, New Jersey.
|Cities With the Lowest Average Auto Loan Debt|
|City||Average FICO® Score||Average Auto Debt|
|Average Auto Debt|
|Sterling Heights, MI||725||$11,107||$11,383||2%|
|Royal Oak, MI||742||$11,550||$11,481||-1%|
|St. Clair Shores, MI||712||$11,392||$11,591||2%|
|Clinton Township, MI||703||$12,035||$12,125||1%|
|Dearborn Heights, MI||692||$12,130||$12,351||2%|
|Rochester Hills, MI||746||$12,213||$12,812||5%|
|Shelby Township, MI||735||$12,829||$13,039||2%|
|Farmington Hills, MI||728||$13,060||$13,182||1%|
|Forest Hills, NY||745||$13,167||$13,259||1%|
Cities With High Auto Debt Have Below Average Credit Scores
When it comes to credit scores, most of the 25 cities with the highest auto debt had average FICO® Scores that were below the national average, according to Experian data from Q2 2019. Only eight cities had FICO® Scores that were above the national average of 703, while the other 17 cities had scores that were below.
The city of Weslaco, Texas, had the lowest average FICO® Score of the top 25 cities, at 640. This score placed Weslaco, along with nine others, in the lowest 10% of all U.S. cities when ranked by FICO® Scores.
In the cities with the least amount of auto debt, a reverse trend in FICO® Scores appeared: Only eight of the 25 cities had average scores that were below the national average. The other 17 cities had average scores that were above 703. Troy, Michigan, had the highest average FICO® Score of 750—a total of 47 points higher than the national average.
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.