Which Ohio cities have residents with the worst student debt?

Student debt is one of the biggest burdens job seekers carry out of college.  But where you live and what the jobs pay can make it easier or much harder to pay off student debt.

WalletHub, a credit reporting and financial advice website, performed an analysis of 1,937 U.S. cities, including many in Ohio, to determine where Americans are most overleveraged by college-related debt. WalletHub's analysts compared the median student-loan balance against the median earnings of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor's degree in each of the cities.

The most overleveraged student borrowers in Ohio are in Portsmouth, Fremont and Youngstown. All three are in the study’s 99th percentile of cities characterized by high median college debt and lower median earnings. Locally, Dayton is not far behind in the 95th percentile and Xenia is in the 91st.

At the other end of the spectrum of those still carrying college debt are residents in cities like Beavercreek and Springboro. The affluent Columbus suburb of Powell is the only Ohio city in the lowest percentile. While these borrowers may owe as much or more as those in the higher percentiles, they have much higher median incomes, which make payments more manageable.


Selected Ohio cities from overleveraged by student loan debt to less burdened

99Portsmouth$19,415 $27,270 71%
99Youngstown$21,459 $31,220 69%
96Akron$23,290 $40,894 57%
96Lima$20,640 $36,305 57%
95Dayton$19,930 $36,357 55%
94Toledo$21,958 $41,391 53%
91Xenia$20,000 $39,851 50%
90Chillicothe$19,927 $40,625 49%
89Canton$19,354 $40,037 48%
88Cleveland$19,806 $41,155 48%
88Cincinnati$20,963 $43,691 48%
87Columbus$21,316 $45,000 47%
83Springfield$15,847 $34,538 46%
77Centerville$21,890 $50,031 44%
74Middletown$17,088 $39,723 43%
67Kettering$18,683 $45,780 41%
63Troy$20,000 $50,740 39%
61Franklin$18,435 $47,111 39%
61Hamilton$17,242 $44,091 39%
60Sidney$16,402 $42,069 39%
44Lebanon$17,495 $49,830 35%
42Fairborn$18,368 $52,969 35%
36Beavercreek$19,035 $56,762 34%
30Springboro$22,238 $69,214 32%
19Marysville$18,637 $62,605 30%
1Powell$17,930 $82,439 22%
**Median student loan debt
**Median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders
***Ratio of student debt to median earnings of bachelor’s degree holders

After home mortgages, student loans make up the largest chunk of household debt, according to a February report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

College graduates — even up to age 35— are spending nearly a fifth of their salaries just on student-loan payments, and many millenials will be paying for college into their 40s, a Citizens Bank study found.

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