Washington State Has Fourth-Less Student Loan Debt in the Nation | Washington
(The Center Square) – Washington State ranked No. 48 on a list of states and designated states with the most student debt, according to a new study published Tuesday by WalletHub. Only California, the District of Columbia and Utah have less student debt.
The personal finance website’s study is timely in that it was released on the same day as President Joe Biden’s. announcement that his administration wipe out $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those earning less than $125,000 a year. Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education will receive up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness.
According to the WalletHub report, “Student debt is a huge problem in America. With the exception of mortgages, student loans make up the largest portion of US household debt. Our collective debt also continues to grow. At the end of the first quarter of 2022, total outstanding college loan balances stood at nearly $1.61 trillion, according to the Department of Education. That works out to an average of $37,000 for each of the 43.4 million borrowers.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics in two broad categories: student debt and student scholarship and work opportunities. Some of the 11 measures include average student debt, the unemployment rate among 25-34 year olds, and the proportion of students with delinquent loan balances.
Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub, explained Washington State’s ranking.
“Washington is the fourth-lowest state in student debt,” she told The Center Square via email. “Average student debt is among the lowest at just under $24,000, less than half of students are in debt, and student debt is only about 26% of median household income, one of the lowest percentages lower in the country. This means that overall, student debt is not a serious problem statewide.
Here’s how the Evergreen State ranked in some specific categories: #30 in unemployment rate for population aged 35-34; #39 in percentage of student loan debt past due or in default; No. 30 in the offer of student jobs; No. 11 in the offer of paid internships; and No. 39 in Grant Growth.
Washington State fared better overall than its Pacific Northwest neighbors.
WalletHub ranked Oregon at No. 40 and Idaho at No. 37.
The 10 most indebted states:
1. West Virginia
3. South Dakota
8. Rhode Island
9. South Carolina
10. North Dakota
The 10 States and Designated States with the Least Student Debt:
50. District of Columbia
47. New Mexico