Do You Live in a High-Debt City?

The biggest 20 cities in the United States get ranked by consumer debt.


Seattle might be known for good coffee and being home to Grey’s Anatomy, but it also deserves another association: Lots of debt. According to a new report by the credit reporting agency Experian, Seattle has the highest average debt per consumer -- $26,646. Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta aren’t far behind.

Experian warns against jumping to conclusions about Seattle residents, however. While they might carry a lot of debt, they also tend to manage it responsibility. “Seattle’s consumers have very few late payments and are not maxing out their credit cards, so they are using their credit wisely and maintaining higher credit scores,” says Experian’s Maxine Sweet.

Out of the 20 top metro areas in the United States, Los Angeles residents carry the least amount of debt on average ($24,000). Across the country, average debt per consumer hovers around $24,775.

Here are the rankings, along with average debt per person:

  1. Seattle, $26,646
  2. Dallas, $26,599
  3. Denver, $26,428
  4. Atlanta, $26,063
  5. Phoenix, $26,035
  6. Houston, $25,790
  7. Washington, D.C., $25,702
  8. Tampa, $25,603
  9. Philadelphia, $25,544
  10. Orlando, $25,316 
  11. Minneapolis, $25,115
  12. Detroit, $24,995
  13. Sacramento, $24,826
  14. Chicago, $24,781
  15. Boston, $24,670
  16. Cleveland, $24,669
  17. New York, $24,444
  18. San Francisco, $24,429
  19. Miami, $24,334
  20. Los Angeles, $24,009
  21. Experian reminds consumers who want a strong credit score to pay bills on time, review credit reports regularly, and avoid closing accounts prior to taking out a loan. For more information, check out Experian’s consumer site.

    See 10 Behaviors That Hurt Your Credit Score