These are the 15 worst US states for paying off your student loans

  • South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the worst states for student loan debt, according to personal finance website WalletHub.
  • WalletHub determined the worst states for student debt by analysing where students have the most debt and least job opportunities to help pay it off.
  • South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the worst states for student loan debt.
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The student loan crisis has become a nightmare for many Americans.

National student debt is now over $US1.5 trillion, and many are struggling to pay off their loans.

Yet not all Americans suffer from the student debt crisis equally. Black families tend to have more debt than white ones, and the amount of debt you have could look different depending on which state you call home.


Read more:
10 mind-blowing facts that show just how dire the student-loan crisis in America is

In fact, there are some states where it is harder to pay off student loans than others, according to personal finance website WalletHub. WalletHub determined the worst states for student loan deb, where students not only have hefty loans, but also where it’s hard to find high-paying jobs and have high costs of living.

WalletHub weighted a total of 12 different data points, divided into two groups: how much student loan debt burdens residents, and the number of opportunities for finding a job after college. The site used data from places like the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the US Department of Education College Affordability & Transparency Center, and more.

Here are the 15 worst states for student loan debt.


15. Connecticut has the highest average student loan debt among all 50 states.

Joe Robbins/Getty

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 51.80

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 11

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 43


14. New Jersey is among the states where students have the most difficulty paying off their loans.

Walter Hickey / BI

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 52.44

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 15

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 28


13. Indiana ranked 29th in how many job opportunities the state has for graduates.

AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 52.53

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 14

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 29


12. Kansas ranked 19th in how many job opportunities the state has for graduates.

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 52.94

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 16

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 19


11. Delaware has the fifth highest overall student debt among residents.

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 53.79

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 10

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 32


10. Rhode Island is the worst state for finding a job after graduation.

Dan Logan/Shutterstock

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 54.89

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 7

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 50


9. Michigan residents have among the highest amount of debt as a percentage of their overall income.

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 55.19

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 12

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 8


8. Ohio ranked 14th in how many job opportunities the state has for graduates.

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 58.67

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 8

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 14


7. Mississippi is the state with the highest per cent of student-loan balances past due or in default.

Shutterstock‘Welcome to Mississippi’ sign.

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 59.56

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 9

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 2


6. Minnesota is among the states that have a higher proportion of people with student-loan debt.

Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 60.46

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 3

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 45


5. Iowa has a relatively low unemployment rate for millennials compared to the other states with high student-loan debt.

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 61.01

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 6

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 16


4. New Hampshire has among the highest proportion of students who graduate with student-loan debt.

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 63.24

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 2

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 37


3. West Virginia has many opportunities for students to find work after college, yet still has a high overall debt amount.

Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 63.41

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 5

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 1


2. Pennsylvania has the second highest overall student-loan debt among residents.

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for postgraduates: 64.59

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 4

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 7


1. South Dakota is the state with the highest overall student-loan debt among its residents.

Scott Olson/Getty

Overall score, based on the amount of student-loan debt and availability of jobs for post-graduates: 66.17

Rank among states with the highest student-loan debt: 1

Rank among states with high availability of jobs for postgraduates: 46

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