25 States With the Lowest Gen Z Debt in 2021

25 States With the Lowest Gen Z Debt in 2021 article image.

While the youngest members of Gen Z are still in grade school, the oldest are entering early adulthood. This is a time when they might get their first credit card, borrow money to pay for school or finance a first major purchase, like a car or house.

On average, debt balances among Gen Z adults (ages 18 to 24) increased from 2020 to 2021. Still, Gen Z consumers in some states fared better than others in keeping debt down. Those in New York had the lowest average debt at $15,553, while Gen Z consumers in California held the second-lowest average of $16,752.

As part of our ongoing look at debt in the U.S., Experian analyzed consumer credit data from August 2021 to see where members of Generation Z had the lowest overall debt. Our analysis looked at all 50 states and Washington, D.C., exploring total average debt and average FICO® Scores among members of this generation. Read on for our insights and analysis.

1. New York

Consumers in New York have 4.14 credit cards on average as of 2020, according to Experian data, but members of Gen Z are keeping their overall debt balances relatively low.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $15,553
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 691

2. California

In the Golden State, the average Gen Z consumer has a credit score that falls into the "good" FICO® Score range, and they owe less than $17,000 in debt.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $16,752
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 690

3. Washington, D.C.

Gen Z consumers in Washington, D.C., maintain low overall debt.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $16,754
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 689

4. New Jersey

The Garden State is home to many universities and a Gen Z population that's close to achieving a FICO® Score of over 700.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $17,320
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 694

5. Illinois

Gen Z borrowers have maintained decent credit scores and kept debt balances low.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $17,613
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 682

6. Connecticut

Consumers in Connecticut have credit card debt that's higher than the U.S. average, but Gen Z's overall debt is low compared with other states.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $17,873
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 692

7. Michigan

Made of two peninsulas, Michigan is home to Gen Z consumers who have credit that falls into the "good" FICO® Score range.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $18,676
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 681

8. Florida

In the sunny state of Florida, consumers carry about four credit cards in their wallet on average and Gen Z has a total debt of $18,704.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $18,704
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 673

9. Georgia

Gen Z consumers in Georgia have one of the lowest average credit scores on this list, but they maintain low debt compared with most other states.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $19,359
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 664

10. Mississippi

In the Magnolia State, consumers have fewer credit cards and lower card balances than borrowers in most other states.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $19,793
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 647

11. Massachusetts

Gen Z in Massachusetts is on the cusp of attaining an average credit score of 700 and has less than $20,000 in overall debt.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $19,817
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 699

12. Rhode Island

Nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island is one of the states where consumers have the most credit cards, but it takes the 12th spot in lowest amount of debt overall.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $19,885
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 687

13. Kansas

Kansas is the first state on this list where Gen Z has an average debt balance above $20,000.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $20,181
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 676

14. Texas

In the Lone Star State, the average credit score among Gen Z is among the lowest on this list, but Gen Z consumers there maintain relatively low overall debt.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $20,291
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 663

15. Ohio

Home to celebrated sports teams and diehard fans, Ohio has Gen Z borrowers with average credit scores on the low end of "good" and bordering on "fair."

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $20,500
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 676

16. Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, borrowers have low credit card debt, and Gen Z overall debt just tops $20,000.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $20,934
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 688

17. Nebraska

Nebraska is the Cornhusker State, and a place where Gen Z has an average FICO® Score considered "good."

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $21,173
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 684

18. Pennsylvania

Nestled in the northeast, Pennsylvania boasts almost 250 private and public colleges and universities.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $21,389
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 686

19. North Carolina

Sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina is home to Gen Z borrowers with an average credit score just below 670, which puts them into the "fair" FICO® Score range.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $21,549
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 669

20. Maryland

Known for the Chesapeake Bay and its proximity to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Maryland has one of the highest average incomes among the states on this list.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $21,698
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 684

21. Oregon

Dubbed the Beaver State, Oregon is in the Pacific Northwest and is known for having a high cost of living.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $22,004
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 688

22. Montana

Montana is one of the states where consumers have the fewest credit cards on average.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $22,163
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 670

23. New Mexico

Gen Z consumers in New Mexico have fair credit on average.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $22,231
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 660

24. Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., but average credit scores among Gen Z are relatively strong and their debt is low enough to make this list.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $22,368
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 695

25. Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, Gen Z has one of the lowest average credit scores to make this list.

  • Average overall Gen Z debt: $22,410
  • Average Gen Z FICO® Score: 657

Debt Balances Are Low in Multiple High-Cost States

Several states on this list—including New York; California; Washington, D.C.; Oregon and Hawaii—have a high cost of living, yet these are places where Gen Z maintains low debt balances compared with other states. Credit scores in these areas are also strong considering Gen Z borrowers may be new to credit with limited credit history.

Gen Z Debt Balances Are on the Rise

Experian data shows that Gen Z indebtedness is increasing dramatically, but the number of subprime borrowers among them is on the decline. Gen Z's average credit scores fall into the "good" FICO® Score range in all but five states to make this list.

As Gen Z navigates young adulthood, having good credit can help them qualify for rentals or low interest rates on new purchases or refinances, which can lead to monthly and long-term savings.

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