This dashboard contains 2016 and 2017 data derived from a random sample of deidentified, consumer-level records from a major credit bureau as well as estimates from summary tables of the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2015 or 2011–15 and 2016 or 2012–16). We define the nonwhite population as those who are African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, another race, or multiracial. The auto loan debt map uses more recent American Community Survey data to define nonwhite population share and average household income than the medical debt and student loan debt maps do. Debt in collections includes past-due credit lines that have been closed and charged-off on the creditor’s books as well as unpaid bills reported to the credit bureaus that the creditor is attempting to collect. For example, credit card accounts enter collections once they are 180 days past due. Retail installment loans are retail purchases with installment terms—for example, a loan from a furniture store to buy a couch. The map breaks are determined using the Jenks Natural Breaks method.
The medical debt map was released December 6, 2017. The student loan debt map was added April 5, 2018. The share of student loan holders with student loan debt in collections was added May 16, 2018; the label for the share of people with credit records who have student loan debt in collections was also clarified at that time. The auto loan debt map was released December 12, 2018.
For more information and metric definitions, view and download the technical appendix.
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This data dashboard was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, with additional support from the Ford Foundation. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of our experts. More information on our funding principles is available here. Read our terms of service here.
We thank John van Alst, Henry Chen, and Chris Kukla for helpful counsel in finalizing the auto loan variables and developing the narrative. We also thank Don Baylor and Velvet Bryant of the Annie E. Casey Foundation for their input and Sara Rosenthal of the Urban Institute for her excellent project management.
In an earlier version of the auto loan debt map, seven counties were paired with the incorrect state: Beaver County, Utah; Addison County, Vermont; Accomack County, Virginia; Adams County, Washington; Barbour County, West Virginia; Adams County, Wisconsin; and Albany County, Wyoming. The data have been updated to fix these errors (corrected 12/13/18).