Student debts: top 10 cities that have been hit the hardest

SmartAsset analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Experian and the IRS across 100 metro areas. They looked at variables such as the average student debts and median earnings to rank these cities. Unemployment data was also put into considerations when ranking these cities.

Student debts have been on the rise for the last few decades. For some cities, however, they have had to deal with other factors such as low paying jobs, high cost of living and high debt totals, which has affected their ability to repay these loans.

SmartAsset analyzed the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Experian and the IRS across 100 metro areas and was able to determine the hardest-hit cities across the country. They weighed variables such as the amount of student debts and the median pay for bachelor degree holders. They also looked at unemployment data for debt holders in these areas. Here are the top 10 hardest-hit cities.

10. Columbia, Missouri
The overall impact score, according to SmartAsset, is 85.10. They also have an average student loan debt of $40146 and a median earning for bachelor’s degree holders of $42,047.

9. Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Their overall impact score stands at 85.67, with an average student loan debt of $37,866. The median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders are $35,660.

8. Santa Fe, New Mexico
They have an average student loan debt of $40,447 and an overall impact score of 87.97. Their median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders stand at $37,055.

7. Ithaca, New York
The average student loan debt for this city stands at $39,192. This gives it an overall impact score of 88.25. Holders of a bachelor’s degree in Ithaca, New York, have median earnings of $39,674.

6. Greenville, North Carolina
This city has also been hard by student debts, with the average being $38694. Their overall impact score is 88.25 and their median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders is $41625.

5. Eugene, Oregon

They have a total score of 89.68 and an average student loan debt of $36916. The median earnings for degree holders in this city stand at $37,386.

4. Morgantown, West Virginia
In Morgantown, the student loan debt average stands at $40,430, with an overall impact score of 93.98. Degree holders have median earnings of $41,895.

3. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The average student loan in this city is $47,955, with an overall impact score of 94.56. The city’s median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders are $50,523.

2. Corvallis, Oregon
In Corvallis, the average student loan debt is $46,164, with an overall impact score of 99.14. The median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders are $39,839.

1. Gainesville, Florida

This is the city that has been hit the most by student debts. Their overall impact score, according to SmartAsset, stands at 100.00. The average student debt in this city is $44,508, with a median earning for bachelor degree holders of $41,782.

Student debt Impact on these cities

The student debts remain to be the second-largest form of consumer loans just behind mortgage debts. They now total $1.5 trillion and expected to continue growing.

AJ Smith, vice president of financial education at SmartAsset, said while releasing this data,

University towns appear to be disproportionately affected by student debt, all of the top six metro areas hit hardest by student debt are college towns.

She also explained how these loans impacted people’s ability to save for their future. She pointed on the strain these people are going through, especially in the top 10 cities, where settling these debts has become very hard due to the high cost of living and low earnings by these students.

 

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