Sunbelt States Drowning in Debt While Midwest Keeps Its Head Above Water

National Business Capital’s Report on U.S. States Most Impacted by Household Debt Reveals Stark Divide

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Oct. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — High growth sunbelt states, including Florida, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada, grapple with surging household debt, while the Midwest handles debt significantly better. This regional disparity in household finances was a key takeaway from the study: “The U.S. States Most Impacted By Household Debt 2023,” just published by  

The fintech lending platform for business owners discovered that as inflation and consumer demand surge, many households in high-growth Sunbelt states find themselves caught in a debt spiral. By contrast, the Midwest’s prudent financial practices and lower living costs have shielded its residents from the worst of these economic challenges.’s comprehensive report sheds light on this pattern, revealing the financial health of different regions across the nation.

The full study is available HERE:

Key Findings

  • High Growth Sunbelt States Are Under Fiscal Stress: Explosive growth in states like Florida, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada has led to significant mortgage and credit card burdens, particularly for lower-income households.

  • The Heartland Shows Fiscal Restraint: In contrast, households in the Rust Belt, interior South, and Plains states exhibit remarkable restraint in credit card spending, benefiting from lower housing demand and prices.

  • Auto Loans Are Stressing Otherwise Low-Cost States: States like Texas, Georgia, and Florida face high auto loan obligations due to elevated car prices, including used vehicles.

  • Household Debt Exceeds Income in All But One State: The report highlights that household debt surpasses income in nearly every state, underscoring the widespread financial strain experienced by American households. New York stands as the sole exception, operating with a debt-to-income ratio below 1, reflecting the immense financial pressure faced nationwide.


#1.  Maryland

#2.  Colorado

#3.  Nevada

#4.  Virginia

#5.  Arizona

#6.  Florida

#7.  Utah

#8.  Alaska

#9.  California

#10. Delaware


#40. (tie) Michigan

#40. (tie) South Dakota

#42. (tie) Ohio

#42. (tie) Nebraska

#44. Kansas

#45. Indiana

#46. West Virginia

#47. Arkansas

#48. Wisconsin

#49. Iowa

#50. Kentucky


To create the rankings, researchers selected six metrics to understand each state’s household debt burden. Within each metric, the state with the least debt was given a rank of 0, while the state with the most debt was given a rank of 100. Each metric was multiplied by a selected weight, then added together to create an overall score for each state.

Here are the six metrics, along with the percentage used to calculate the weight of each metrics. Weights for debt were selected based on the prevalence of the type of debt.

Credit Card Debt (24%)

Auto Debt (15%)

Mortgage Debt (22%)

Student Loan Debt (7%)

Medical Debt (12%)

Debt-to-income ratio (20%)

“As people move to sunnier, high growth regions, they’re taking on more debt,” says Brian Chevalier-Jordan, Chief Marketing Officer, “We’ll see whether trading the cold for debt is worth it over time.”

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For more information on this list and this topic, please contact Sarah Johnson,