Credit Karma Study

November 11, 2022

Although the “Motor City”, has seen a drastic decline in its population over the past century, Detroit remains one of the most populous cities in the United States with more than 630,000 residents, according to U.S. Census estimates for 2020-2021. Credit Karma data, which was collected from August 17, 2022, shows that the average debt of the 177 236 Credit Karma members living in Detroit is $22,208. This is the lowest of America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. This includes auto loans, student loans and mortgages. (Click here to see the complete methodology.

Continue reading to see an overview of Detroit’s debt situation.

Snapshot of Credit Karma Stat

Total debt in Detroit

Credit Karma members in Detroit had a total debt of $6 billion. Individuals had an average overall debt of $22,208. However, the median overall debt was only $7,290. This is a smaller gap than in other major cities. This debt has an average payment of $268.

Credit Karma members have an average national debt of $49,454 and a median of $11,223.

Detroit’s debt dial


Image: detroitdebtgauge

Detroit Student loans, auto loans, and mortgages.

Below is a table that shows averages and medians of different types debts among Credit Karma members from Detroit.

Debt type

Credit Karma members who have debt type

Average debt

Median debt

Average next payment
Auto loan 105,612 $19,514 $16,330 $486
Student loan 80,038 $30,439 $15,035 $23
Hypothec Mortgage 21,762 $134,878 $102,913 $1,013
Credit card 159,126 $4,501 $1,921 $144

How does Detroit’s population compare to national averages? Below is a table that compares the national average to the averages for Detroit Credit Karma members.

Debt type

Average national credit of Credit Karma members

Detroit member average debt
Auto loan $24,042 $19,514
Student loan $32,004 $30,439
Hypothec Mortgage $235,194 $134,878
Credit card $6,469 $4,501

How does Detroit compare to other cities?

We compared the average Credit Karma member living in 100 top cities by population, according to U.S. Census population estimates for 2021.

Detroit is the most debt-free of all the 100 major cities. Credit Karma members have the lowest average overall debt.

Here are the rankings of Detroit’s members against other top 100 American cities.

  • Auto loan debt 96th
  • Credit card debt: 100th highest
  • Student loan debt: 67th highest
  • Mortgage debt: 99th highest

Credit inquiries, past-due accounts and credit inquiries in Detroit

The average VantageScore 3.0 credit score among Credit Karma members was 607, while the median was 603, which is both considered fair. Credit Karma members had a national average VantageScore 3.0 of 673 and a median score of 682.

Detroit residents had on average five credit inquiries, while the national average was 4.

Detroit residents have an average of 0.89 accounts that are 30 days late. Nationally, the average account is 0.74.


We analyzed accounts of approximately 177,000 Credit Karma members in Detroit, who were active within the past 36 months to determine the averages for each type of debt. The averages were calculated using information from TransUnion credit reports for members from the 90-day period prior to data pull on Aug. 17, 2022. This analysis includes auto lease, credit card, student loan, mortgage, credit card, and auto loan. Unpaid balances on open accounts at the time of data pull are all included. All numbers were round to the nearest whole in this report.

All data in this article were pulled Aug. 17, 2022.