Seattle: Debt Scorecard

A Credit Karma Study

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Seattle is home to more than 730,000 people as of July 2021, making it one of the 20 largest cities in the United States, according to 2020–2021 U.S. census estimates. According to Credit Karma data from Aug. 17, 2022, the average overall debt of the 154,739 Credit Karma members who live in Seattle is $98,756. 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 Seattle.

Overall debt in Seattle

The 306,279 Credit Karma members living in Seattle held a combined total debt of about $26.4 billion. The average overall debt for individuals was $98,756. The median overall debt was only $10,114, making Seattle’s gap between average and median total debt one of the greatest out of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. The average next payment on that debt is $700.

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

Seattle’s debt dial

seattle-debt-dialImage: seattle-debt-dial

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

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

Debt typeNumber of Credit Karma members with debt typeAverage debtMedian debtAverage next payment
Auto loan86,524$22,035$17,625$539
Student loan58,281$37,419$18,029$75
Credit card151,354$7,146$3,386$179

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

Debt typeNational average debt of Credit Karma membersCleveland member average debt
Auto loan$24,042$22,035
Student loan$32,004$37,419
Credit card$6,469$7,146

Overall, Credit Karma members in Seattle had more debt than the national average in three categories: student loan debt, mortgage debt and credit card debt. Only the average auto loan debt of members in Seattle is less than the national average.

How does Seattle 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, Seattle has the fourth-highest overall average debt among Credit Karma members. Seattle is one of five cities where the average overall debt is greater than $90,000.

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

  • Auto loan debt: 69th highest
  • Credit card debt: 16th highest
  • Student loan debt: 14th highest
  • Mortgage debt: 7th highest

Credit, inquiries and past-due accounts in Seattle

Among Credit Karma members in Seattle, the average VantageScore 3.0 credit score was 718 and the median was 745, both of which are considered good. The national average VantageScore 3.0 for Credit Karma members was 673, while the median was 682.

Seattle members had an average of 3.3 inquiries on their credit reports, while the national average was 4.2.

Residents of Seattle average 0.38 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 306,000 Credit Karma members living in Seattle who had been active on the site within the previous 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.