Car Loan Balances Vary Significantly Across the Country

Texans carry the highest average balance, while D.C. residents have the lowest.

Woman buying car

The cost of a vehicle, either new or used, has skyrocketed over the past couple of years, primarily due to disruptions in the manufacturing of new cars. As such, it's crucial for car buyers to ensure they get a good deal on an auto loan to save money.

That's particularly true in states where borrowers have higher balances, including Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia. But even in states and districts with the lowest balances, including the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, it's important to be mindful of what you're paying.

Key Takeaways

  • Residents of Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia carry the highest average auto loan balances.
  • D.C., Hawaii, and Massachusets residents carry the least amount of auto loan debt on average.
  • Car buyers should take their time to shop around and compare multiple loan options to ensure they get the lowest rate and monthly payment.

The Highest and Lowest Auto Loan Balances by State

It's difficult for many consumers to buy a new or used vehicle without financing at least a portion of the purchase price. However, residents of some states tend to borrow more than others. Here's a breakdown of the top five states with the highest and lowest auto loan balances, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the fourth quarter of 2021.

States with the Highest Auto Loan Balances

  1. Texas: $7,270
  2. Louisiana: $6,510
  3. Georgia: $6,080
  4. Arkansas: $5,990
  5. Florida: $5,980

States with the Lowest Auto Loan Balances

  1. District of Columbia: $3,620
  2. Hawaii: $3,980
  3. Massachusetts: $4,020
  4. Connecticut: $4,050
  5. New York: $4,080

Average Auto Loan Balance by State

The average car loan balance across the U.S. is $5,210. Here's how it breaks down by individual states:

 State Average Car Loan Balance
Alabama $5,550
Alaska  $5,350 
Arizona $5,780 
Arkansas  $5,990 
California  $4,940 
Colorado  $5,090 
Connecticut  $4,050
Delaware  $5,440 
District of Columbia $3,620 
Florida $5,980 
Georgia  $6,080 
Hawaii  $3,970 
Idaho  $5,190 
Illinois  $4,630 
Indiana  $4,910 
Iowa  $4,920 
Kansas  $4,430 
Kentucky  $4,530 
Louisiana  $6,510 
Maine  $5,180 
Maryland  $5,700 
Massachusetts  $4,020
Michigan  $4,410 
Minnesota  $4,440 
Mississippi  $5,780 
Missouri  $4,740 
Montana  $4,740 
Nebraska $4,620 
Nevada $5,710 
New Hampshire  $5,860 
New Jersey  $4,500 
New Mexico  $5,320 
New York  $4,080 
North Carolina  $5,600 
North Dakota  $5,800
Ohio  $4,940 
Oklahoma  $5,900 
Oregon  $4,300 
Pennsylvania  $4,650 
Rhode Island  $4,330 
South Carolina $5,420
South Dakota  $4,950 
Tennessee  $5,230 
Texas  $7,270
Utah  $5,710 
Vermont  $5,620
Virginia  $5,210 
Washington  $4,620 
West Virginia  $5,640 
Wisconsin  $4,300 
Wyoming  $5,480 

Shop Around to Find the Best Car Loan Rates

Regardless of how much you plan to borrow to buy your next car, it's important to compare rates and terms from multiple lenders. To get started, review our best car loan rates to find the top lenders and compare what they have to offer. For those with existing car loans, refinancing the balance could potentially save on monthly payments.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. RealClear Markets. "What's Causing the Big Spike In Car Prices, and How Consumers Should React."

  2. Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "Center for Microeconomic Data."