Houston: Debt Scorecard

A Credit Karma Study

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Houston ranks as the fourth-largest city in the United States, boasting a population of over 2 million people as of July 2021, according to 2020–2021 U.S. census estimates. According to Credit Karma data from Aug. 17, 2022, the average overall debt of the 796,797 Credit Karma members who live in Houston is $43,388. In this case, overall debt is made up of auto loans, auto leases, student loans, mortgages, credit card balances and medical debt. (Click here for the full methodology.)

Read on to see a snapshot of debt in Houston.

Overall debt in Houston

The 796,797 Credit Karma members living in Houston held a combined total debt of about $59.5 billion. The average overall debt for individuals was $43,388. The median overall debt was only $11,238, suggesting that a minority of the population carries more debt than most of the population, pulling the average upward. The average next payment on that debt is $482.

In contrast, the national average debt for Credit Karma members is $49,454, and the median is $11,223.

Houston’s debt dial

houstondebtgauge-4-1Image: houstondebtgauge-4-1

Auto loans, student loans, mortgage and credit card debt in Houston

The table that follows contains averages and medians for different types of debt among Credit Karma members in Houston.

Debt typeNumber of Credit Karma members with debt typeAverage debtMedian debtAverage next payment
Auto loan560,085$26,042$20,518$651
Student loan285,826$30,920$15,201$34
Mortgage280,595$221,575$186,651$1,736
Credit card739,582$6,577$3,013$189

So how do residents of Houston compare to the national member averages? The following table compares the national average against the averages in Houston among Credit Karma members.

Debt typeNational average debt of Credit Karma membersHouston member average debt
Auto loan$24,042$26,042
Student loan$32,004$30,920
Mortgage$235,194$221,575
Credit card$6,469$6,577

Overall, Credit Karma members in Houston had more debt than the national average in two categories: auto loan and credit card. The average mortgage debt in Houston is nearly $14,000 less than the national average.

How does Houston rank against other cities?

We compared averages for Credit Karma members living in the top 100 cities by population according to 2021 U.S. census estimates.

Out of the top 100 cities, Houston has the 69th highest overall average debt among Credit Karma members. Houston’s overall average debt is just below Baltimore’s and just above Jacksonville, Florida’s.

Here’s how Houston members ranked against the other top 100 cities in America.

  • Auto loan debt: 14th highest
  • Credit card debt: 32nd highest
  • Student loan debt: 59th highest
  • Mortgage debt: 63rd highest

Credit, inquiries and past-due accounts in Houston

Among Credit Karma members in Houston, the average VantageScore 3.0 credit score was 654 and the median was 654, which is considered fair. The national average VantageScore 3.0 for Credit Karma members was 673, while the median was 682.

Houston members had an average of 4.5 inquiries on their credit reports, while the national average was 4.2.

Residents of Houston average 0.80 accounts that were 30 days past due. The national average is 0.74 accounts.

Methodology

To determine averages across categories of debt — including auto lease, auto loan, credit card, mortgage, student loan, medical and total debt — we analyzed the accounts of about 57,000 Credit Karma members living in Irvine who had been active on the site within the last 36 months. Averages were based on information from members’ TransUnion credit reports from the 90 days previous to the data pull, which was on Aug. 17, 2022. For the purposes of this analysis, auto lease, auto loan, credit card, mortgage, medical and student loan debt is defined as any unpaid balances existing on members’ open accounts in aggregate at the time the data was pulled. All numbers in this report were rounded to the nearest whole.

Note that all data for this article were pulled on Aug. 17, 2022.