With graduation season on us and student debt at a staggering $1.6 trillion, a new report released  Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt in 2024 offers insight.

Most Overleveraged CitiesLeast Overleveraged Cities


Orangeburg, SCLos Gatos, CA
Ashland, ORScarsdale, NY
Ashtabula, OHGillette, WY
Cordele, GASan Carlos, CA
Sun City West, AZLos Altos, CA
Brookhaven, MSSunnyvale, CA
Natchez, MSSaratoga, CA
Sun City, AZManhattan Beach, CA
Avon Park, FLLa Crosse, WI
Union City, GALaplace, LA

What Impact Does an Outstanding Student Loan Debt Have on the Economy

“Outstanding student loan debt has made it harder for young adults to become financially stable or to afford the ‘markers’ of the middle class. One reason homeownership rates have stalled for young adults is that they cannot afford to repay their loans and also save enough for a downpayment on a home. Marriage rates are lower for young adults and birth rates are down because so many young adults are struggling to support themselves…and rationally conclude that they cannot afford to support an additional person. As they work to repay their student loans, many do not save for retirement. While student loan repayment periods may seem only to affect their short-term ability to save, buy homes, or start small businesses, their inability to save for retirement in their younger years has the longer-term effect of delaying when they may be able to stop working,” said A. Mechele Dickerson, University Distinguished Teaching Professor; Chair in Bankruptcy Law and Practice, The University of Texas at Austin.

“The press probably overstates the problem for the ‘economy as a whole.’ Clearly, it is a problem for the debtor, but to the extent the loans will never be paid off anyway, it does not matter much if that debt is written off sooner rather than later. Mostly, it is merely accounting journal entries on the government’s ledger and has nearly no real effect on cash flows,” said Randall LaSalle, Associate Professor, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY.

What Should People Consider When Applying for Student Loans?

“Government-sponsored loans (after exhausting all other funding sources) are the lowest cost and most accessible option. Review loan terms with parents or a trusted financial advisor. Understand repayment amounts and loan maturity,” said Neil Librock, Retired Professor, at Cal State University East Bay.

“They should consider not applying for student loans; and look for other ways to finance their education, including grants, scholarships, and work-study programs,” LaSalle said.

Programs Recommended to Anyone Having Trouble Making Student Loan Payments

“Immediately contact the lender and explain your circumstances. The lender cannot/will not help you if you do not ask for help. Understand you still owe the money and act as a responsible borrower while requesting help with payments or loan maturity,” Librock said.

“Avoid all other debt, especially car loans and credit card debt. However, if the employer offers any matching for pension fund contributions – take it!,” LaSalle said.

Source: WalletHub