Student loan debt continues to be one of the biggest financial burdens on Americans. Besides home mortgages, there is no larger form of household debt, which is now predicted to be a collective $1.7 trillion. It is now predicted the average college student graduates with nearly $39,000 in debt.
While student debt is a problem for the majority of the country, it’s worse in some areas. To figure out where those areas are, WalletHub examined remaining student loan balance and median earnings for adults aged 25 or older holding a bachelor’s degree in 2,510 cities.
TWO FLORIDA TOWNS HAVE HIGHEST STUDENT DEBT RATIO
The city with the highest ratio of student loan debt to median salary is Fernandina Beach, Florida, which sits on the Atlantic Ocean just northeast of Jacksonville. According to the data, the median student debt amount is $25,886 and the median salary of those with bachelor’s degrees is $31,301 for a ratio of 82.70%. Following Fernandina Beach is Avon Beach, Florida, which sits in the middle of the state and has a ratio of 80.96%. The median student loan amount is just $21,213, but the median salary is also just $26,202. Rounding out the cities with the highest student debt rates is Orangeburg, South Carolina, with a rate of 80.29%. The median student debt amount is $27,803 and the median salary is $34,627.
At the other end is Darien, Connecticut, where the ratio is just 14.29%. The median debt is just $19,484 and college graduates earn a median income of $136,300. Following Darien with the next lowest debt ratio is Riverbank, California with a rate of just 16.10%. Riverbank, which is in California’s Central Valley near Modesto, has a median student debt amount of $11,703 and a median salary of $72,703. Southlake, Texas follows Riverbank closely with a ratio of 16.12%. The median debt is $20,300, but graduates earn a median of $125,949.
FOUR TOWNS WHERE STUDENT DEBT IS UNDER $10K
Just four towns had median student debt amounts of less than $10,000. Rio Grande City, Texas had the lowest overall median debt amount at $8,826. Breaux Bridge, Louisiana had the next lowest amount at $9,598. Others with less than $10,000 in student loan debt were Alamo, Texas ($9,656) and San Luis, Arizona ($9,697).
Some 14 towns had median debt amounts of $30,000 or higher. The town with the highest median debt rate is Mableton, Georgia, which had a median debt amount of $34,913. Next is Bronxville, New York with an amount of $33,211. Rounding out the top-three towns with the highest median debt is Marina del Rey, California at $32,315.
HIGHEST AND LOWEST MEDIAN SALARIES
The median salary for college graduates is $100,000 or higher in 20 cities. The town with the highest median salary is Darien, Connecticut with the $136,300 listed above. Southlake, Texas follows Darien with $125,949. And rounding out the top-three is Scarsdale, New York with a median salary amount of $119,500. At the other end, graduates living in Sun City West, Arizona earn a median income of $21,250. Following Sun City West is Taylorsville, North Carolina, where graduates earn a median income of $23,594. Rounding out the bottom three is Laguna Woods, California with a median income of $25,579.
For a look at the entire report and data set, go here.