Houston Matters

Study: Texas Seniors Carry The Most Debt Nationwide

The study looked at non-mortgage debt balances for seniors in the 50 largest metros.

Seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 in Texas carry more debt into retirement than seniors in other states, according to a study from LendingTree.

The study calculated the median non-mortgage debt balances for seniors in the traditional retirement age range (65-70) in the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

“We found that there was a wide variety of how much non-mortgage debt people in this age range owe, anywhere from a median of 15,093 for people between the ages of 65 and 70 in Louisville, Kentucky to just under $30,000 in San Antonio, Texas,” LendingTree’s senior research analyst Kali McFadden, told Houston Matters.

Nationwide, the average median debt for seniors was $20,643. Of the 50 largest metro areas, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Dallas ranked 1-4 in terms of having the most debt. The median non-mortgage debt in San Antonio was $29,993, while in Houston it was $26,219.

“Auto loans I think are the big driver in Texas for these kinds of non-mortgage debt burdens that people are carrying,” McFadden said “We did a very similar study for millennials and we found very similar results. We found that when you look at the proportion of debt across average debt holdings, that a disproportionate degree of auto loan debt seemed to be the driver of cities at the very top of the list.”

In San Antonio, for example, on average 46% of the amount seniors owe is on auto loans. “That’s the highest in the country,” McFadden said.

The two metro areas with the lowest non-mortgage debt among retirement-age seniors were San Jose, California and Portland, Oregon.

The study used a sample of about 75,000 My LendingTree users born between 1948 and 1953. Total debt balances were calculated using second quarter 2018 credit reports. The full study can be viewed, here

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