This Study Revealed the States With the Most and Least Student Loan Debt

Lincoln Memorial at sunrise
tomwachs/Getty Images
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

We hear about the severity of student loan debt all the time.

Our country is up to its neck in it. It’s holding graduates back. It’s bad, bad, bad.

As depressing as it can be, it’s interesting to see where you stand among others. Sometimes it makes you feel better that you’re not that deep in poo — while other times, you realize you have more than the average.

Either way, it offers perspective, which the human spirit seems to appreciate.

Credit Sesame, a service that provides free credit scores and credit reports, recently tapped into its database to analyze 1 million of its accounts (with 4 million loans) to figure out which states were the best and worst for student loan debt. The list also includes the District of Columbia.

The Five States With the Highest Student Loan Debt

Bad news first, right?

Here’s what Credit Sesame found after examining the the nearly 1 million accounts with student loan debt connected to its database:

  1. Washington, D.C. — $47,331
  2. Maryland — $40,473
  3. Georgia — $39,720
  4. South Carolina — $36,865
  5. Virginia — $36,828

The Five States With the Lowest Student Loan Debt

It feels weird saying “best,” because there’s nothing good about student loan debt, but these are the five “best” states, according to Credit Sesame:

  1. Wyoming — $28,303
  2. Utah — $29,158
  3. Rhode Island — $29,158
  4. Montana — $29,801
  5. Idaho — $29,935

Tools to Help You Tackle Student Loan Debt

If you’re curious about what you owe at this point — on anything — you’ll want to check your credit report.

You can snag a free credit report through Credit Sesame.

Next, you’ll want to create some type of strategy.

We, unfortunately, can’t tell you what your best route is, but we have some suggestions.

You could try refinancing through a platform like Credible. By refinancing your student loans, you could snag a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands over time.

You can also earn cash from home or remotely by taking on a side gig. Stash the money you earn in a separate, do-not-touch-except-for-student-loans account.

Another (easier) option is to use an app like Qoins. It rounds up all your purchases and dumps the change in about $5 increments into an account that’ll go toward repaying your student loans each month. The pennies add up quickly! It costs $1.99/month, but your first month is FREE. 

You also have the option of applying for loan deferment — but only if you absolutely need to. Read the rest of our tips for getting out of debt here before committing to that option.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.