The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

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Buying a new car is a big money move, and everything from choosing the right model to picking the perfect color takes effort. There is no better feeling than driving your purchase off the lot while smelling that new car smell, but purchasing a car can put you deep into debt if you’re not careful.

Auto loan debt has increased across the country. The New York Federal Reserve Bank reports that the average household auto debt in 2017 was $4,520, up from $3,420 in 2013. Total auto loan balances in America have increased by $540 billion since 2010 to $1.24 trillion, an 8-year upward trend.

Average auto debt ranges widely state to state, from $3,560 in New York to $6,520 in Texas. Here’s a list of the states with the highest and lowest auto loan debt according to statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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12th highest auto loan debt: Nevada

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,020

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

11th highest auto loan debt: North Dakota

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,020

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

10th highest auto loan debt: Utah

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,020

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

9th highest auto loan debt: Oklahoma

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,050

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8th highest auto loan debt: Maryland

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,110

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7th highest auto loan debt: New Mexico

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,190

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6th highest auto loan debt: New Hampshire

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,220

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5th highest auto loan debt: Arkansas

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,240

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4th highest auto loan debt: Wyoming

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,240

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

3rd highest auto loan debt: Georgia

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,260

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2nd highest auto loan debt: Louisiana

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $5,550

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Highest auto loan debt: Texas

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $6,520

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

10th lowest auto loan debt: Kentucky

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,780

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

9th lowest auto loan debt: Oregon

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,770

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8th lowest auto loan debt: Michigan

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,690

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7th lowest auto loan debt: Hawaii

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,650

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

6th lowest auto loan debt: Rhode Island

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,610

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5th lowest auto loan debt: Connecticut

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,600

Image Credit: depositphotos.com.

4th lowest auto loan debt: Wisconsin

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,580

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

3rd lowest auto loan debt: New York

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,560

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

2nd lowest auto loan debt: District of Columbia

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $3,010

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Lowest auto loan debt: Puerto Rico

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Average auto loan debt per capita: $2,320

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

How to minimize debt

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Consumers take on auto debt when they borrow money to buy a car. Julie Blackley, communications director at ISeeCars.com, said that the growing number of car buyers and rising car prices has led to increased auto debt.

Blackley said that consumers who are looking to take on less debt should be smart when looking for a car.

“You should be shopping around for a car like you look for a house,” she said. “You have options.”

Blackley said that buyers should consider financing through a bank instead of through a car dealer. Dealers can profit from auto loans, which means their prices may be higher. She also suggests “choosing the loan for the shortest amount of time you can afford.”

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Choose a longer lease

The states with the highest & lowest auto loan debt

Consumers may think that they are getting a deal by choosing lower payments for a longer lease, but as interest accumulates, they may end up paying more in the long run, Blackley said.

If you are on a tight budget, purchasing an older used car may be for you.

“Cars are lasting longer than ever,” Blackley said. “You can get a really good deal on a car with more miles on it.”

Before any major purchase, make sure that you can afford it and that you have the right credit to qualify for a loan. A low credit score can lead to higher interest rates on your loan, which can make it harder to pay the loan off.

Additionally, consider such additional costs as auto insurance, which is required in almost every state. (You can see how much car insurance is required in your state here.)

Don’t carry more debt than you have to on your next auto loan. To help, here is how you can save $5,000 on your next car loan.

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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