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The Weight of Millennial Debt

Millennials are burdened by debt, with student loans making up the bulk of that debt, and according to a study from LendingTree, auto loan debt is close behind. LendingTree found that the median debt balance for millennials living in the 50 biggest U.S. cities is $23,064.

“The millennial generation makes up the younger portion of adults, and as they build their careers, families and communities, they’re doing it encumbered by personal debt,” said Kali McFadden, the LendingTree Senior Research Analyst who led the study.

Of the 50 largest metros covered by the study, millennials in San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Austin, Texas hold the largest debt burdens, with median non-mortgage debts of $27,122, $26,403 and $26,164, respectively. According to PropertyShark, high levels of debt among millennials has held many in this group back from buying a home, and millennials have currently been locked into rentals for longer than any other generation, and put 1.6 percent of millennials behind on their mortgage payments.

According to LendingTree, 40 percent of millennial debt is attributed to student loans. In Philadelphia, however, student loans make up 49.1 percent of the average debt burden, but lowest in San Jose at 24.1 percent.

San Antonio, with the highest rate of millennial debt, had a median debt balance of $27,122, $4,058 more than the median debt balance for millennials across all 50 cities surveyed. However, auto loans, not student loans, make up the largest chunk of that debt, with 43.2 percent of the total debt on their cars.

Cities like San Jose and Los Angeles may see the lowest rates of debt among millennials, however, LendingTree notes that this may not mean what you think.

“It’s worth noting that low debt burdens aren’t necessarily a good thing when thinking about the economic vibrancy of a community,” McFadden pointed out. “Some people have lower debt burdens because they don’t have access to credit, for instance, or haven’t completed college.”

Find the report from LendingTree here.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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