With graduation season close and student debt at a staggering $1.61 trillion, a new report on the Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt in 2022 along with a nationally representative Student Money Survey offers new college and high school grads build credit and maximize savings, according to news release.

Most Overleveraged CitiesLeast Overleveraged Cities
Selma, ALVienna, VA
Ypsilanti, MIFremont, CA
Avon Park, FLMenlo Park, CA
Cordele, GASammamish, WA
Ridgeland, MSMilpitas, CA
McComb, MSGilroy, CA
Orangeburg, SCDelano, CA
Hattiesburg, MSBronxville, NY
Ashland, KYSunnyvale, CA
Ithaca, NYCoachella, CA

Survey Results & Best Card Picks

  • 93% of students are concerned about the economy.
  • The number one post-graduation fear among students is not finding a job (36%), followed by student loan debt (30%).
  • 20% of students think that a college education is less important due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 52% of students say their school is not doing enough to educate them about personal finance.
  • Having emergency savings (44%) is the most important financial lesson students have learned from the pandemic, followed by not going into debt (23%) and having a steady job (22%).
  • The best credit cards for 2022 graduates are the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card for Students (limited credit & EDU email), the Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card (limited credit & no EDU email) and the Discover it® Secured Credit Card (damaged credit).

More Info and Help

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted students’ perception of college?

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 20% of students think that a college education is less important,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst in a news release. “The pandemic has taken a heavy financial toll on the country, and inflation is making higher education less affordable. As a result, some people may decide that finding a job that provides a steady source of income is the better option for them, rather than going into debt to continue their education.”

What financial lessons has the COVID-19 pandemic taught students?

“Around 44% of students say that the biggest lesson they have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is that they should have emergency savings. Having an emergency fund is important for surviving periods of financial difficulty like the current high inflation, and WalletHub recommends that people try to save up nine months’ worth of expenses or more,” Gonzalez added. “Some of the other big lessons that students have learned during the pandemic are not going into debt and finding a steady job.”

What financial issues are students most worried about after they graduate?

“The number one post-graduation fear among students is not finding a job, but the good news is that there is an employment shortage currently. In fact, employers plan to hire 31.6% more graduates from the Class of 2022 than they did from the class of 2021. Students have a good chance of landing a job, and they have the leverage in this job market to secure good compensation,” Gonzalez added. “The second biggest post-graduation fear among students is student-loan debt, which is very valid considering how expensive it can be.”

How well educated are students about personal finance?

“Students are unfortunately not adequately educated about personal finance, as 52% of students say their school is not doing enough to teach them about this essential topic,” Gonzalez said. “Schools should have programs in place to instruct students about responsible financial behavior from a young age. By the time they graduate, they should be able to make more informed borrowing decisions, saving and spending money, as well as establish good practices like keeping a low credit utilization and building an emergency fund.”

Source: WalletHub