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Top 10 States With the Most Student Debt

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(Related: Best & Worst 529 College Savings Plans of 2018: Morningstar)

It’s not just where you go to school that sets you up for a successful future, although of course that plays a major role.

According to WalletHub, where you plunk yourself down can play a big role after graduation, too. “Student-loan borrowers generally fare better in strong-economy states with low college-debt-to-income ratios,” the consumer finance site says in a report.

Considering how high so many of those college debts are — not only do they make up the biggest chunk of household debt for Americans after mortgages, but the total of outstanding college loans disclosed on credit reports totaled $1.41 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — it makes sense to head for places where the chance of success is greater.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 11 key measures of indebtedness and earning opportunities, considering data including average student debt to the unemployment rate among 25- to 34-year-olds to the share of borrowers with past-due loan balances.

When they were done, they scored each of the 51 locations in two main categories — where they fall on student-loan indebtedness and how highly they rank in grant and student work opportunities — and then gave each one an overall score.

Here are the 10 states where those carrying a load of debt will find it hardest to succeed — whether it’s the overall cost of living working against them or a high unemployment or underemployment rate. The overall rank category, running from 1 to 51, indicates how high or low each locale is, with 1 being the most student debt and 51 being the least.

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