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Old 05-13-2010, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
34,877 posts, read 60,857,308 times
Reputation: 18601

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Do You Live in a High-Debt City? - Alpha Consumer (usnews.com)

Out of the 20 top metro areas in the United States, Los Angeles residents carry the least amount of debt on average ($24,000). Across the country, average debt per consumer hovers around $24,775.


Here are the rankings, along with average debt per person:
  1. Seattle, $26,646
  2. Dallas, $26,599
  3. Denver, $26,428
  4. Atlanta, $26,063
  5. Phoenix, $26,035
  6. Houston, $25,790
  7. Washington, D.C., $25,702
  8. Tampa, $25,603
  9. Philadelphia, $25,544
  10. Orlando, $25,316
  11. Minneapolis, $25,115
  12. Detroit, $24,995
  13. Sacramento, $24,826
  14. Chicago, $24,781
  15. Boston, $24,670
  16. Cleveland, $24,669
  17. New York, $24,444
  18. San Francisco, $24,429
  19. Miami, $24,334
  20. Los Angeles, $24,009
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
34,877 posts, read 60,857,308 times
Reputation: 18601
Our state government is so financially different from us regular citizens and our corporations.

What's up with that?
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
1,044 posts, read 2,566,764 times
Reputation: 977
Good grief, the AVERAGE consumer debt is over $24k in each of these cities? When you consider that, what, about half of all households don't have consumer debt at all, that means the average among those who do must be that much higher.

I don't know how people can sleep at night with that kind of obligation hanging over their heads. At least if it were a mortgage they could threaten to walk away and the government would bail them out [I'm only being halfway sarcastic here]. With consumer debt there is no such leverage.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:28 PM
 
2,965 posts, read 5,799,876 times
Reputation: 1566
The spread isn't even that much, this data doesn't really say anything. Also good point about mortgage debt.

Also, it's hard to swallow that the average consumer debt is $24k unless that includes car loans.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,187 posts, read 20,636,943 times
Reputation: 3504
even if these figures car loans, these are still scary numbers. that means that for every couple like my wife and i that have debt below that amount (student loan and a small car loan), there is another couple that has over 2x the average debt PER PERSON listed above. WOW!
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:45 PM
 
2,965 posts, read 5,799,876 times
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Scary, but much more scary if it didn't include car loans.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:46 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 38,157,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
even if these figures car loans, these are still scary numbers. that means that for every couple like my wife and i that have debt below that amount (student loan and a small car loan), there is another couple that has over 2x the average debt PER PERSON listed above. WOW!
Of course there's also a lot of people in LA that make a lot of money and have a lot of assets so even $100k isn't that much money to them. The problem with averages is that they gloss over a lot of important detail.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
1,044 posts, read 2,566,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Of course there's also a lot of people in LA that make a lot of money and have a lot of assets so even $100k isn't that much money to them. The problem with averages is that they gloss over a lot of important detail.
OK, but if they're so affluent then why are they carrying any debt at all? I'm very far from being rich but I have always paid cash for my cars and I pay off my credit cards every month. Why wouldn't someone who makes a lot of money and who has a lot of assets do the same thing?

But your point is a good one - it would be more interesting to see the statistics for debt as a fraction of income.

It would be even more interesting to see the statistics for household net worth (assets minus debts) as a fraction of income. I wouldn't be surprised if the median in much of California is close to zero. Average would be skewed higher because the genuinely rich people have far greater assets than most people's debt (I hope).
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:45 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 38,157,400 times
Reputation: 7547
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbunniii View Post
OK, but if they're so affluent then why are they carrying any debt at all? I'm very far from being rich but I have always paid cash for my cars and I pay off my credit cards every month. Why wouldn't someone who makes a lot of money and who has a lot of assets do the same thing?
A lot of small business people use personal debt to finance business expansion or to get through slow periods. The report mentions Experian. Credit reporting agencies will count any balance on a credit card as debt, even its its paid off every month. You could have all the money in the world but if you put everything on your diamond encrusted Amex Black card and pay it off each month, it'll still look like you have a lot of debt.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Earth
17,443 posts, read 26,288,924 times
Reputation: 7410
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbunniii View Post
OK, but if they're so affluent then why are they carrying any debt at all? I'm very far from being rich but I have always paid cash for my cars and I pay off my credit cards every month. Why wouldn't someone who makes a lot of money and who has a lot of assets do the same thing?
Spending money one doesn't have, no matter how wealthy one is or one's social status, has been a long established tradition in L.A. long before it became the norm for the USA.

My grandfather mentioned one of the things he found hard to understand about L.A. when he first came was how people living in mansions in Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills could be broke all the time and up to their ears in debt - and this was in an era when L.A. was a cheap city! People living in those neighborhoods often get caught up in the trappings of a very expensive lifestyle that's hard to sustain and that eventually leaves them heavily in debt....
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