San Francisco: Debt Scorecard

A Credit Karma Study


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San Francisco ranks among the top 20 largest cities in America, home to more than 815,000 people, according to 2020–2021 U.S. census estimates. Credit Karma data from Aug. 17, 2022, shows that the average overall debt of the 175,432 Credit Karma members who live in San Francisco is $121,461 — the highest average of members living in the 100 largest U.S. cities. 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 San Francisco.

Overall debt in San Francisco

The 175,432 Credit Karma members living in San Francisco held a combined total debt of about $33.96 billion. The average overall debt for individuals was $121,461, but the median overall debt was only $9,289 — representing one of the largest gaps between average and median total debt out of the 100 largest cities in the country. This suggests that a small segment of the population carries more debt than the majority of San Francisco residents. The average next payment on that debt is $750.

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

San Francisco’s debt dial

sanfranciscodebtgaugeImage: sanfranciscodebtgauge

Auto loans, student loans, mortgage and credit card debt in San Francisco

The table that follows contains averages and medians for different types of debt among Credit Karma members in San Francisco. Members in San Francisco hold the highest average mortgage debt when compared to members’ average mortgage debt in the other 99 largest cities in America.

Debt typeNumber of Credit Karma members with debt typeAverage debtMedian debtAverage next payment
Auto loan79,858$23,902$19,099$592
Student loan59,641$42,039$18,789$88
Credit card173,049$7,981$3,818$184

So how do residents of San Francisco compare to the national member averages? The table that follows compares the national average against the averages in San Francisco among Credit Karma members.

Debt typeNational average debt of Credit Karma membersSan Francisco member average debt
Auto loan$24,042$23,902
Student loan$32,004$42,039
Credit card$6,469$7,981

How does San Francisco 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 population estimates.

Out of the top 100 cities, San Francisco has the No. 1 highest overall average debt among Credit Karma members. San Francisco is one of only three cities where the average overall debt is greater than $100,000.

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

  • Auto loan debt: 44th highest
  • Credit card debt: 6th highest
  • Student loan debt: 4th highest
  • Mortgage debt: 1st highest

Credit, inquiries and past-due accounts in San Francisco

Among Credit Karma members in San Francisco, the average VantageScore 3.0 credit score was 727 and the median was 756, both of which are considered good. The national average VantageScore 3.0 for Credit Karma members was 673, while the median was 682.

San Francisco members had an average of three inquiries on their credit reports, while the national average was 4.2. Residents of San Francisco average 0.35 accounts that were 30 days past due. The national average is 0.74 accounts.


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 205,000 Credit Karma members living in San Jose 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.