Grads in southern states put more money into their debt than others in US

If you’re looking to put more money into paying off your student loans, head south.

More Americans living in Southern states can put more money toward their student loan debt since cost of living is cheaper, WalletHub says in a new report. Mississippi residents pay the most of their income toward their debt.

According to the study, student loan indebtedness consists of average student loan debt, proportion of students with debt, the percentage of income a graduate pays toward debt, a number of student loans that are in default or past-due, and how many borrowers are over 50 years of age.

South Dakota has the highest indebtedness ranking, followed by New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Mississippi. Ohio has the most student loan debt, followed by Mississippi and Pennsylvania.

Among the worst states: New Hampshire had the highest average of student loan debt, followed by Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Delaware and Rhode Island round out the top 5. Keep in mind some of the biggest Ivy League schools are in these states: Dartmouth, Yale, and Brown.

The states with the lowest average student loan debt are Utah, New Mexico, California, Wyoming, and Florida.

How to get out of student loan debt

No matter what state you live in, student loan debt is crippling Americans all over the country. We’re paying $1.3 trillion — it’s the second-largest debt we have, only after mortgages.

So how do we pay it off sooner so we can put that money toward our futures? Refinancing might be a good option for you. The average debt is $37,000, which is growing every year. As jobs continue to stay stagnant with salary, this could mean paying off debt will take longer, meaning you’ll fork over more money at the end of it because of interest. Refinancing helps you pay less in monthly payments while still helping you pay off your loan faster.

It comes down to your own personal drive to eliminate your debt. The government doesn’t really publicize the programs they offer to help manage your payments, and they aren’t designed to help you pay off debt fast.

Your job isn’t doing too much to help, either. Sure, you may like them for potential growth in the company or maybe the benefits are solid, but are they giving you assistance with your debt? Probably not, and most student loan debt payers wish they did. If you could get counseling, repayment assistance, or even educational workshops about your loan and paying it off sooner, wouldn’t your job seem a bit more lucrative to you?

But really, the best way to get rid of debt is to pay it fast. When you’re paying your bills each month, make sure your student loan debt is at the top of the list. If you can afford to put a bit more toward it each month, that’s a bonus! The sooner you pay it off, the more you can contribute to an emergency savings and retirement account later on.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Credit & Debt

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Article last modified on September 7, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Cheaper Cost of Living Means Southerners Pay off Student Loan Debt Sooner - AMP.