Survey Says

These 30 U.S. cities have the most auto-loan debt

Residents of cities across the U.S. are struggling with auto-loan debt.

Photo courtesy of Explore Georgia, Geoff Johnson

Around 17 million new cars were sold in the U.S. last year, most financed either directly though a dealership or via a private loan. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest report on household indebtedness, auto-loan balances have grown steadily over the past eight years, increasing by an additional $18 billion in Q3 2019.

WalletHub compared the median auto-loan balance of more than 2,500 U.S. cities. They then divided the median car-loan debt by residents' income. The median income for each city is based on the 2018 earnings of individuals aged 16 and older who worked full-time year-round, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The figure excludes income from sources other than work. The sample considered only city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

The following cities earned a spot in the 99th percentile of all cities surveyed.

No. 30 (tie) - Raeford, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Hoke County, NC - Official Website

Residents of the town of Raeford, in Hoke County, have $19,841 in median auto-loan debt. The town's median income is $32,145. That's a 62 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 30 (tie) - Mission, Texas

The city in Hidalgo County has $22,737 in median auto-loan debt. Mission's median income is $36,825. Its debt-to-income ratio is the same as Raeford, North Carolina's and two other towns on this list.

No. 30 (tie) - Live Oak, Florida

Live Oak, Florida residents have a debt-to-income ratio of 62 percent. Its residents have median auto-loan debt of $16,846 and a median income of $27,111.

No. 30 (tie) - San Benito, Texas

Residents of the town of San Benito, in Cameron County, have $18,655 in median auto-loan debt. The town's median income is $30,132. That's good for a 62 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 26 (tie) - Richmond, Texas

Just north of I-69 and south of Sugar Land, Texas is Richmond where the median auto-loan debt amount is $20,835 and the median income is $33,304. That's a 63 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 26 (tie) - Tolleson, Arizona

Interstate 10 in Maricopa County, west of Phoenix, runs straight through Tolleson, Arizona, where residents has a median incomes of $30,688 but struggle under $19,220 in median auto-loan debt, Like Tifton, Georgia, that's a 63 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 26 (tie) - Tifton, Georgia

The Friendly City in South Georgia has a median income of $28,539 and median auto-loan debt of $18,073 - a 63 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 26 (tie) - Pharr, Texas

Like fellow Hidalgo County citizens in Mission, Texas, Pharr residents have a high debt-to-income ratio - Pharr's is 63 percent. The median auto-loan debt in town is $19,865 and the median salary is $31,613.

No. 22 (tie) - Weslaco, Texas

Weslaco is another Hidalgo County town with a high auto-loan debt-to-income ratio, though their 64 percent ratio is higher than Pharr's. The median income for residents is $35,432 and median amount of debt is $22,561.

No. 22 (tie) - Uvalde, Texas

Halfway between San Antonio and the U.S.-Mexico border to the west sits Uvalde, Texas. Uvalde residents have a high debt-to-income ratio - 64 percent. The median auto-loan debt in town is $19,484 and the median salary is $30,545

No. 22 (tie) - Mount Pleasant, Texas

A 7.5 hour drive north east of Uvalde is Mount Pleasant, Texas where residents have a median income of $30,826 and a median auto-loan debt amount of $19,712, a 64 percent auto-loan debt-to-income ratio.

No. 22 (tie) - Moultrie, Georgia

Moultrie, out in southwest Georgia, is in a similar situation with a 64 percent debt-to-income ratio. Residents of Moultire have a median amount of $17,545 in auto-loan debt and a median income of $27,401.

No. 22 (tie) - Alamo, Texas

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is located just outside of Alamo, Texas.

Photo courtesy of Travel Texas

Residents of the town of Alamo, Texas, a 3.75 hour drive south of The Alamo, $18,655 in median auto-loan debt. The town's median income is $32,884. That's good for a 64 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 17 (tie) - Walterboro, South Carolina

Walterboro is smack dab in the middle of South Carolina's Low Country halfway between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. Its residents have a median annual income of $26,108 and a median auto loan debt amount of $16,946. That's a debt-to-income ratio of 65 percent.

No. 17 (tie) - Coachella, California

All the way on the other side of the U.S., in Coachella, California, the town's residents have a median income of $28,100 and a median auto-loan debt amount of $$18,383. That's a 65 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 17 (tie) - Douglas, Georgia

Douglas, Georgia residents are in a similar boat owing a median amount of $21,198 and having a median income of $32,604.

No. 17 (tie) - Mercedes, Texas

Residents of the town of Mercedes, halfway between McAllen and Brownsville, Texas, have $18,696 in median auto-loan debt. The town's median income is $28,792. That's good for a 65 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 13 - San Juan, Texas

San Juan, Texas, which is next to Pharr, has residents with a debt-to-income ratio of 66 percent. Its residents have median auto-loan debt of $20,514 and a median income of $31,191.

No. 12 (tie) - Willis, Texas

The city one hour north of Houston has a median amount of $21,067 in auto-loan debt. Mission's median income is $31,250. Its debt-to-income ratio is 67 percent.

No. 12 (tie) - Cedartown, Georgia

Cedartown is out in West Georgia nearly to the Alabama state line. Its residents have a median amount of $18,319 in median auto-loan debt. Cedartown's median income is $27,189. Its debt-to-income ratio is 67 percent.

No. 12 (tie) - Rio Grande City, Texas

Rio Grand City sits (you guessed it) along the Rio Grande in South Texas where the median auto-loan debt amount is $22,756 and the median income is $33,805. That's a 67 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 12 (tie) - Big Spring, Texas

Residents of the town of Big Spring, whose closest big town neighbor is Midland, Texas, have a median amount of $23,486 in auto-loan debt. The town's median income is $35,164. That's good for a 67 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 8 (tie) - Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville Sabal Palms

Photo courtesy of the Brownsville CVB

Residents of Brownsville, right on the South Texas coast, have a median auto-loan debt amount of $19,685. The residents' median income is $29,003. That's a 68 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 8 (tie) - Alice, Texas

Alice, Texas is the seat of Jim Wells County and sits just west of Corpus Christi. Its residents have a median auto-loan debt amount of $24,116 and a median income of $29,003. That equates to a 68 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 8 (tie) - Lake Placid, Florida

Located just south of Sebring International Raceway, Lake Placid's residents also have a 68 percent auto-loan debt-to-income ratio. They earn a median amount of $23,125 each year and have $15,672 in auto-loan debt. It is worth noting that the figure is the lowest amount of auto-loan debt of any resident group on this list.

No. 5 (tie) - San Luis, Arizona

Sitting on the U.S.-Mexico border, San Luis residents have a median income of $28,337. They have a median amount of $20,578 in auto-loan debt. That's a 68 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 5 (tie) - Cordele, Georgia

Those that live in the self-described Watermelon Capital of the World has a median income of $25,522 but owe a median amount of $18,624 in auto-loan debt. That's a 73 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 3 - Donna, Texas

Residents of the city of Donna have a median auto-loan debt of $21,305 and median income of $26,870. The Hidalgo County city has a debt-to-income ratio of 79 percent.

No. 2 - Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega, Georgia

Photo courtesy of Explore Georgia, Geoff Johnson

The city that was home to America's first gold rush it under water when it comes to auto loans. The median auto-loan debt of residents is $18,504 while the median income is just $22,338. That's and 83 percent debt-to-income ratio.

No. 1 - Bastrop, Louisiana

The city of Bastrop, Louisiana takes the (tarnished) crown in this survey, with median auto-loan debt of $18,485 and median income of $22,021. That's good for an 84 percent debt-to-income ratio.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Jeep is adding the 2021 Cherokee Limited Lux to its lineup this year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC
The Cherokee Latitude is the base grade model and the Cherokee Latitude Plus is one step up from that. For 2021, Jeep is offering the Cherokee Latitude Lux. Think of it as Latitude Plus+. It takes many of the desirable features Jeep offers and combines them with a wallet-friendly price tag.

"The new 2021 Cherokee Latitude LUX truly enhances the Jeep lineup and is a direct reflection of what our customers want and value the most in their vehicle – everyday practicality, exceptional comfort, with outstanding ride and handling characteristics," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "As the most capable midsize sport-utility vehicle, the Jeep Cherokee continues to offer consumers the ultimate blend of all-weather 4x4 capability and even more standard amenities at an incredible value."

2021 Jeep Cherokee Limited Lux The model features a roster of desirable features.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Latitude Lux sits in the compact SUV's stable between the mid-grade Latitude Plus and Limited trim levels. Latitude is the company's base model and Trailhawk tops out the Cherokee lineup.

It is powered by Jeep's 3.2-liter V6 engine that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 29 mpg on the highway and has best-in-class towing capability (4,500 pounds). Buyers can choose to change to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

It features a roster of premium features including Nappa leather seats, power front seats with power lumbar adjuster, heated front seats, premium-wrapped heated steering wheel, remote start, windshield wiper deicer, and the latest Uconnect system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Additionally, the model is eligible to have the Comfort and Convenience Group (security alarm, power liftgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic temperature control, universal garage door opener, 115-volt power outlet, 8.4-in. touchscreen radio, and seven-inch driver information display) added on. The available Sun and Sound Group includes a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and nine-speaker Alpine sound system. Jeep's Trailer Tow Group package is available only on 4x4 models and includes heavy-duty engine cooling, transmission auxiliary oil cooler, Class III hitch receiver, four- and seven-pin trailer-tow wiring harness, and full-size spare tire.

Each Cherokee Latitude Lux comes with a long list of standard safety features including full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with assist, a rearview camera with grid lines, and rain-sensing wipers.

The new model has a starting MSRP of $30,145 for the 4x2 model and the 4x4 comes in at $31,645. There is an added $1,495 destination fee on each model. The Cherokee Latitude Lux is on sale now.

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If you've got a reservation, you can now order your 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In a memo to dealers, Ford has announced that it is lowering the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of its 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, the long-awaited all-electric crossover.

According to a post on the Mach-E forum, the price of the Mustang Mach-E will be $1,000 to $3,000 than initially promoted. The memo states that the Mustang Mach-E Premium will be $3,000 lower than initially anticipated with the all-wheel drive version dropping to $50,800 and rear-wheel drive model now coming in at $48,100.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The Ford Mustang Mach-E will begin arriving at dealership lots soon. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mach-E First Edition, a sold-out top-of-the-line model, will get a $1,000 price deduction. That same drop applies to the Mach-E Select, the base model. That base model has a 230-mile range. Higher price point versions of the Mach-E can achieve up to 300 miles of range.

The price of each vehicle includes a $1,100 delivery charge. Customers are eligible to receive a $7,500 federal tax credit with purchase.

Pricing will apply to all models that have been ordered since the Mach-E was unveiled at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show. The first deliveries of the crossover are expected to arrive in customer hands later this year.

How does the new price compare? The freshly-unveiled Volkswagen ID.4 will start at $41,990 including the cost of delivery, making it about $2,000 less than the new price of the Mach-E Select, which comes in at $43,995 for front-wheel drive models and $46,695 for all-wheel drive variants. The ID.4 will get up to 250 miles on a single charge.

The Tesla Model Y comes in at $49,990 but has more range than the Mustang Mach-E at 316 miles on a single charge and comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Ford and Volkswagen vehicles will rely on private charging opportunities. Both companies have recently announced partnerships with Electrify America, which has two cross-country charging routes available and is working to rapidly install charging stations at private enterprises and in public spaces nationwide.

Volkswagen ID.4 buyers get three years of free charging with purchase. Mustang Mach-E owners get 250-kilowatt-hours of free charging when they buy a Mach-E.

Tesla has a fully built-out electric vehicle charging infrastructure that allows for fast charging of the Model Y. With that capability it can relain 158 miles of charge in just 15 minutes while at a Supercharger. There are 17,000 Superchargers worldwide and six new locations open each week according to the Tesla website.

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