A recent study published by Credible looks into the struggle of students in debt in relation to the affordability of living expenses in the cities they live in. With the help of U.S. Census data, the researchers picked the top 23 most populous cities and compared three variables to arrive at their findings and conclusions. They compared the average income of indebted students or graduates in each of those cities with the average monthly housing payment and their average monthly student loan payment.
The study’s findings can help students or fresh grads who are looking for a city to move to that would make it easier – rather than more difficult – to pay back their loans.In the cities analyzed by Credible, the average monthly student loan payment is $655, the average monthly housing bill is $1,231 and the average annual income is $77,698. Students-in-debt struggle the most with their financial commitments in the cities of San Jose, Fort Worth, and Boston, where residents dedicate more than 30% of their average salary earned per month to the loan installments and housing bills.
Dallas, Jacksonville and Houston top the list as the most student-loan-friendly cities, since graduates have more of their salaries left over after paying the monthly loan installment in addition to their bills. Nevertheless – not very far from the cities at the other end of the list – nearly 27% of the borrowers’ average monthly salaries are still swallowed by their monthly commitments, not taking into account the borrower’s day-to-day expenses like food, transportation, shopping, and above all taxes. The U.S. charges its citizens a wide range of taxes depending on their incomes and their residence. For example, a handful of states don’t require their residents to pay taxes for their income. Meanwhile, Californians with high incomes can be charged up to 13.3%.
Some 70% of college graduates borrow to pursue their degree. The average debt load among borrowers is $37,173. However, Credible’s study finds that the lack of affordability doesn’t discourage people from moving to cities like San Jose, Fort Worth and Boston, primarily because of the job opportunities available in those cities, employment being a major factor that influences where graduates choose to live.