19 US Cities Where Debt Is a Major Concern

Across the United States, the shadow of debt hangs heavily over many cities, large and small. High debt delinquency rates in certain areas highlight the economic challenges residents face.

This article explores top cities grappling with particularly high levels of debt delinquency. We base this list on WalletHub’s analysis of proprietary user data from Q4 2023.

Laredo, TX

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Laredo, Texas, sees a high debt delinquency rate, reflecting broader economic challenges. The city’s location and economy contribute to its residents’ financial struggles. Efforts to provide financial education and support are crucial here. Laredo’s situation underscores the need for targeted economic development strategies.

  • Total delinquent score: 98.52

Detroit, MI

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Detroit’s history of economic fluctuation significantly impacts its current debt delinquency rates. The city’s residents face high unemployment rates and diminishing public services. Rebuilding efforts include focusing on financial literacy and access to jobs. Detroit’s resilience is at stake as it confronts these financial hardships.

  • Total delinquent score: 87.48

San Bernardino, CA

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San Bernardino, California, still feels the aftermath of its bankruptcy filing years ago. This has left a lasting mark on the city’s economic recovery. High delinquency rates here reflect the struggles to regain financial stability. Community programs aim to address these systemic financial issues.

  • Total delinquent score: 79.77

Newark, NJ

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In Newark, New Jersey, high debt delinquency rates highlight socioeconomic disparities. The city’s revitalization efforts have yet to reduce financial strain for many. Education and job training programs are critical for economic improvement. Newark’s challenges are a focal point for policy to reduce debt burden.

  • Total delinquent score: 79.16

Winston-Salem, NC

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Winston-Salem, North Carolina, shows the impact of changing industries on local economies. This transition has left some residents behind, struggling with debt. The city is focusing on diversifying its economy and improving financial literacy. Such efforts are key to addressing the root causes of debt delinquency.

  • Total delinquent score: 76.49

Philadelphia, PA

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grapples with high poverty rates contributing to its debt issues. Urban development and support services are critical in addressing these financial challenges. The city’s rich history contrasts with the economic realities many residents face. Programs aimed at economic inclusion are vital for Philadelphia’s future.

  • Total delinquent score: 66.75

Baton Rouge, LA

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana, faces unique challenges with fluctuating oil prices affecting local jobs. This industry depends on the city’s economy and residents’ financial stability. Efforts to expand economic diversity and resilience are underway. Baton Rouge’s experience highlights the need for adaptable economic strategies.

  • Total delinquent score: 64.06

Bakersfield, CA

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In Bakersfield, California, the local economy’s reliance on agriculture contributes to financial volatility. Seasonal employment patterns exacerbate debt delinquency issues for many. Initiatives to broaden the economic base are critical for stability. Bakersfield’s situation underscores the impact of economic dependency on financial health.

  • Total delinquent score: 62.72

Greensboro, NC

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Greensboro, North Carolina, illustrates the challenges faced by mid-sized cities in transitioning economies. Efforts to attract new industries are key to reducing debt delinquency rates. The city’s educational institutions play a role in this economic evolution. Greensboro’s approach to economic diversification offers a model for similar communities.

  • Total delinquent score: 62.50

Stockton, CA

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Stockton, California, famously filed for bankruptcy, highlighting its financial woes. The city has since worked towards recovery, focusing on economic development. High debt delinquency rates here reflect the lingering effects of past financial crises. Stockton’s journey underscores the complexities of municipal financial health.

  • Total delinquent score: 61.46

Corpus Christi, TX

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Corpus Christi, Texas, sees its economic health influenced by the shipping industries. Volatility in these sectors directly impacts residents’ ability to manage debt. Economic diversification efforts are crucial for long-term stability. Corpus Christi’s experience reflects the broader challenges of economic dependency.

  • Total delinquent score: 61.31

Baltimore, MD

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Baltimore, Maryland, confronts high debt delinquency amidst efforts to revitalize its economy. The city’s rich cultural heritage contrasts with the economic challenges many residents face. Initiatives focusing on job creation and financial literacy are key. Baltimore’s path to economic recovery comes with both opportunities and obstacles.

  • Total delinquent score: 60.28

Memphis, TN

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Memphis, Tennessee, deals with high rates of poverty and debt delinquency. The city’s economic initiatives aim to increase access to quality jobs and education. Memphis’s vibrant culture underscores the potential for growth and improvement. Addressing financial instability is critical for Memphis’s future prosperity.

  • Total delinquent score: 59.07

Lubbock, TX

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Lubbock, Texas, faces challenges related to its agricultural and manufacturing sectors. Economic shifts have left some residents struggling with debt. The city is focusing on diversifying its economic base to improve its financial health. Lubbock’s approach aims to reduce debt delinquency through economic growth.

  • Total delinquent score: 58.04

Birmingham, AL

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Birmingham, Alabama, historically a steel industry hub, now grapples with economic transition. High debt delinquency rates reflect the ongoing struggle for financial stability. Efforts to revitalize the economy focus on innovation and education. Birmingham’s resilience is key to overcoming its financial challenges.

  • Total delinquent score: 58.03

El Paso, TX

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El Paso, Texas, balances its unique position on the border with economic challenges. The city’s efforts to boost trade and create jobs are crucial for reducing debt. Financial education and support services play a significant role in this strategy. El Paso’s economic development is closely watched as a model for other border cities.

  • Total delinquent score: 56.21

San Antonio, TX

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San Antonio boasts a strong military and tourism sector yet faces debt challenges. The city is working to expand its economic base and improve financial literacy. These efforts aim to reduce the burden of debt on residents. San Antonio’s strategic focus on economic diversity offers hope for progress.

  • Total delinquent score: 53.59

Garland, TX

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Garland, Texas, illustrates the financial struggles even in economically vibrant regions. The city’s manufacturing sector creates a solid economy, yet debt remains an issue. Efforts to enhance job skills and financial education are underway.

  • Total delinquent score: 53.25

North Las Vegas, NV

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North Las Vegas faces an economic challenge distinct from the glitz of nearby Las Vegas. High debt delinquency rates here signal underlying economic issues. The city is focusing on attracting new industries and improving infrastructure.

  • Total delinquent score: 52.96
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