US Cities With the Most Student Debt

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Skyline and Highway at Sunset

At the end of the first quarter of this year, the Federal Reserve Bank reported that total U.S. student loan debt topped $1.4 trillion, more than U.S. credit card debt and second only to home mortgages among U.S. households. And as more students pursue post-secondary education and the costs of that education increase, student debt continues to pile up.

The hardest hit is the millennial generation, 18 to 34 year-olds, some of whom dedicate as much as 18% of their incomes to paying off their student loans. A 2016 report from Citizen’s Bank noted that many millennials expect to be paying student loan debts into their 40s.

Student loan debt does not affect everyone in the same way, however. In some cities, loan levels are high and salaries are low. The reverse is true in other cities. Researchers at personal finance website WalletHub divided the median student loan balance by the median earnings of adults older than 25 with a bachelor’s degree in nearly 2,000 U.S. cities. The research excludes cities in surrounding metropolitan areas.

 

US Cities With the Most Student Debt

 

10. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
  • Median balance: $20,469
  • Average number of loans: 3.9
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 24.4 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 7.0 percent

 

 

9. Columbia, South Carolina

 Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
  • Median balance: $20,560
  • Average number of loans: 3.9
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 23.3 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 7.9 percent

 

 

8. Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi
  • Median balance: $20,650
  • Average number of loans: 4
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 24.8 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 8.7 percent

 

 

7. Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
  • Median balance: $20,679
  • Average number of loans: 3.6
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 24.2 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 7.7 percent

 

 

6. Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock
Little Rock
  • Median balance: $21,031
  • Average number of loans: 3.8
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 25.9 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 7.6 percent

 

 

5. Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio
Akron, Ohio
  • Median balance: $21,037
  • Average number of loans: 3.5
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 23.0 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 6.5 percent

 

 

4. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Median balance: $21,357
  • Average number of loans: 3.7
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 22.9 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 8.7 percent

 

 

3. Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
  • Median balance: $21,915
  • Average number of loans: 3.8
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 23.9 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 7.7 percent

 

 

2. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Skyline and Highway at Sunset
  • Median balance: $22,232
  • Average number of loans: 3.8
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 26.0 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 9.1 percent

 

 

1. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C
Washington, D.C
  • Median balance: $22,803
  • Average number of loans: 3.4
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000: 25.8 percent
  • Percentage of borrowers who owe more than $100,000: 9.8 percent