Mounting student loan debt is a serious challenge for many Americans – and individuals in some areas of the country are having a harder time repaying that debt.
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Outstanding student loan debt surpassed $1.5 trillion in 2018 – second only to mortgage debt – doubling over the past decade.
Increasing burdens are actually preventing younger Americans from becoming homeowners, a recent study showed.
Here’s where Americans are having the hardest time paying off their loan debt, according to data from student loan advice firm Student Loan Hero:
More than one out of every four student loan borrowers (25.6 percent) in Jackson, Mississippi, is delinquent on their payments, according to Student Loan Hero, meaning they are at least 90 days late.
The state overall has a lower graduation rate when compared with the national average, so part of the problem could be that residents are paying off debts for college despite the fact that they never earned a degree – which could have an impact on their current earnings potential.
Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida
Borrowers in Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida, had the second-highest delinquency rate, at 23.4 percent.
While nearly 20 percent of people across the nation have a four-year college degree, only 12.3 percent of residents in this town ages 25 and older do.
Daytona Beach, Florida
With a slightly lower delinquency rate than Lakeland-Winter Haven, about 23.3 percent of residents in Daytona Beach, Florida, were at least 90 days late on their debt.
Overall, Florida’s statewide graduation rate for bachelor’s candidates is 48.5 percent. About 5.7 percent of 18 to 24 year olds in Winter Haven have a bachelor’s degree, compared to the national average of 10.5 percent.
Another southern city—Memphis – assumed the fourth spot on the list, with a delinquency rate of 23.2 percent.
One contributing factor to this city’s woes could be the fact that just about half (50.4 percent) of residents finish college in six years or less.
The delinquency rate for borrowers in Toledo, Ohio, is 22.8 percent – the only city in the top 5 on the list that is not located in the South.
Unlike the others on the list, Toledo’s graduation rates are on par with the national average. However, its unemployment rate – at 5.7 percent – is higher.
On the other hand, individuals in Provo, Utah; San Jose, California; Madison, Wisconsin; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Oxnard, California had the highest repayment rates.