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Houston millennials saddled with some of the highest debt in the U.S., says report

Houston millennials saddled with some of the highest debt in the U.S.

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Houston millennials are saddled with some of the most debt among America's big cities. Photo by Getty Images

For millennials, the Bayou City is also Debt City. A new study from online lending marketplace LendingTree shows millennials in the Houston area carry some of the highest amount of personal debt among millennials in the country’s 50 largest metros.

Houston ranks No. 4 in the new study — with a median debt of $25,978 — putting it just behind San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Austin, respectively. Houston millennials had a big chunk of debt earmarked for auto loans (42.5 percent), hardly surprising in a sprawling car city. Student loan debt came in at 29.9 percent and the share of credit card debt was 16 percent, with personal loans at 9.5 percent and “other” at 2 percent.

“The millennial generation makes up the younger portion of adults, and as they build their careers, families, and communities, they’re doing it encumbered by personal debt,” Kali McFadden, senior research analyst at LendingTree, says in a release.

In the San Antonio area, median debt for millennials (excluding a mortgage) was $27,122, according to the study, the highest amount of personal debt among millennials in the country’s 50 largest metros. Auto loans accounted for 43.2 percent of the average debt for millennials in the region, with student loans at 30.2 percent, credit cards at 14.8 percent, personal loans at 9.4 percent, and “other” at 2.4 percent.

Millennials in Texas’ other major metros aren’t much better off than their counterparts in San Antonio when it comes to debt like student and auto loans, the study shows.

The Austin metro area ranked No. 3 for the highest amount of non-mortgage debt, at $26,164, according to LendingTree. Dallas-Fort Worth appeared at No. 6 ($25,939).

Millennials in Austin had higher debt for student loans (35.4 percent) and credit cards (18.1 percent) compared with San Antonio. Auto loans claimed a 37.1 percent share in Austin, with personal loans at 7.6 percent and “other” at 1.8 percent.

The story was similar in Dallas-Fort Worth, although student loan debt was higher (33.3 percent) than in San Antonio or Houston. In DFW, auto loan debt was at 39.9 percent, credit card debt at 16 percent, personal loan debt at 8.8 percent, and “other” at 1.9 percent.

Among the 50 largest metros, the median amount of millennial debt was $23,064.