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Report: Providence millennials carry less debt than peers in most cities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- The typical millennial in Providence is $20,505 in debt, according to a recent LendingTree report.

It may seem like a big burden, but Providence millennials actually have less debt than millennials in most of the country's 50 biggest metro areas, LendingTree said.

The report ranks Providence seventh for millennials carrying the least debt in the United States. The median debt across the country is more than $23,000, according to the study.

"That's a pretty sizable portion of debt," LendingTree's Kali McFadden said. "Clearly this is a lot of monthly payments and that’s a lot of income going in this direction to pay down existing debt versus putting it away for savings."

For the study, millennials were defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996. LendingTree only evaluated non-mortgage debt.

Some of the major factors that caused debt to pile up for millennials include credit cards, car loans and school loans.

"We do see certain kinds of debts increasing, certainly student loans, that’s off the charts," McFadden said. "Considering that Providence has some very famous schools right there, I was really surprised when we did our analysis of student loan debt, to see that student loans burdens were so low in Providence."

The study doesn't explain why Providence's debt is lower than most communities.

"The place with the least millennial debt is San Jose, California, which is better known as Silicon Valley, so they have a lot of money there," McFadden said.

"But it’s also true that there are places that are lower income, and so potentially lower debt rates there just mean that people lack the access to debt products that a lot of us would consider necessary to get ahead," she added.

The city with the highest rate of non-mortgage millennial debt is San Antonio, Texas, according to LendingTree, where the median millennial, non-mortgage debt tops $27,000.

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