BUSINESS + ECONOMY

New study shows Utah has nation’s highest debt-to-income ratio

Sep 15, 2023, 4:23 PM

Utahns have the nation's highest debt-to-income ratio according to a new study. The average Utahn i...

Utahns have the nation's highest debt-to-income ratio according to a new study. The average Utahn is carries a little over $79,000 in debt. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns have the nation’s highest debt-to-income ratio, according to a new study.

The study from the Cultural Currents Institute shows the average Utahn is carrying a little more than $79,000 in debt. Additionally, it shows the state’s average income is just over $57,000.

Financial planner Shane Stewart says the two biggest factors contributing to Utah’s highest debt-to-income ratios are cars and mortgages.

“If you’re looking for a car and house, there’s no doubt you’re gonna be in that higher debt-to-income ratio right now,” Stewart said.

Along with this, Stewart said a major contributing factor pointed out in the study is that Utah has the youngest population in the nation. Therefore, more Utahns are at an age where they would be buying homes and taking out new mortgages.

The high cost of housing in combination with the state’s young population makes buying a home in Utah difficult.

“There’s a rule of thumb, maybe 30% of your income needs to go to your housing,” Stewart said. “Well, if you do the math on that, right now for a lot of folks that means don’t buy a home … That’s not always the message. The message should be can you cover that and still live?”

According to Stewart, one of the other factors contributing to Utah’s high ratios are that a greater percentage of Utahns own homes in contrast to other parts of the country.

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

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New study shows Utah has nation’s highest debt-to-income ratio