The US Student Loan Bubble Broken Down By State, And Why Washington D.C. Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb

Tyler Durden's picture

Curious how the student loan bubble, just shy of $1 trillion, and now the largest debt portion of the US household non-mortgage wallet,  bigger than credit card and auto loan debt - affects your state? Then the following three charts just out from the NY Fed are for you.

What the data shows is that less than 12% of the population in Hawaii has student loans, while the record is in D.C. at over 25%. All those "students" in the nation's capital. Really?

But that's not all. While the average loan balance is under $21,000 in Wyoming, it is once again highest in D.C., with the average loan balance over $40,000. It is almost as if D.C. "students" have learned how to game the system.

Yet where the very "studious" population in the capital city truly excels is in the amount of delinquency: here it is all West Virginia at the top with over 18% of all loans delinquent 3 months and over, while DC is not even in the top 10 - must be all those well-paying jobs for interns and college grads in the beltway. It is almost as if someone is closing their eyes when it comes to the delinquencies of DC borrowers. But that would be yet another preposterous conspiracy theory of course...

Borrowers as share of population:

Student loans balances per borrower:

Percentage of 90+ day delinquent:

The supporting detail.

  • Student loan borrowers as a share of the population. The population with active student loan debts, or “SL borrowers,” as a share of the population with a credit record varies substantially over space. For example, in Hawaii, less than 12 percent of people with a credit report have student debt, while in the District of Columbia over 25 percent do.
  • Student loan balances per SL borrower. Student indebtedness is significant for SL borrowers in virtually all states. Educational indebtedness per SL borrower ranges from a low of just under $21,000 in Wyoming to a high of over $28,000 in Maryland. Again, Washington, D.C., stands out: the average SL borrower there owes over $40,000. In general, we find SL-borrower debt levels are highest in California and along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
  • Percent of balance ninety-plus days delinquent. Delinquency rates show a distinct regional pattern, with states in the south and southwest having generally higher rates than those in the north. The lowest delinquency rate is South Dakota, at just over 6.5 percent, while the highest is in West Virginia, at nearly 18 percent.

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Divided States of America's picture

Why would anybody need to study when they can borrow money and plow into the stock markets that never drop???

Shocker's picture

Basically a good chunk of college kids are coming out $20,000+ in debt.

In a normal healthy economy, they can be paid back in 5 years, but in today economy... Good Luck

Hope your degree is in something in demand.

Layoff/Closing List

dontgoforit's picture

Hope that trip to Cancun on your student loan money was worth it. 

jbvtme's picture

what about the useless shit these clowns are studying? swapping debt for the privilege of politically correct critical thinking, darwin and collectivism.  look at boston, the education capitol of the usa.  those pussy fratboys shouting "usa usa" after being all "sheltered in" during that fake martial law excercise last month?  gag

Hohum's picture

Darwin?  What's your alternative: Intelligent Design?

tango's picture

Forget it.  Anybody that dismisses all knowledge as shit is not to be taken seriously.  College should be a time of growing up, learning to prioritize, plan, research and prepare yourself for the real world.  It should NOT be an on-site job training center.  Despite the emphasis on technology we still need literature, history and anthropology majors (I am an engineer). 

marathonman's picture

The market for literarture, history, and anthropology is shrinking and over-supplied.  We need that stuff?  Not really. 

They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

On the contrary, the market for literature, history and anthropology has been inundated with politically correct drivel.

One can never have too much Plato, Shakespeare or Pound. 100 years ago people came out of Harvard reading Latin. The Founding Fathers were exposed to this sort of true education, the same type that Alexander the Great's father hired Aristotle to provide him with. All science, economics, beauty and virtue leads back to the one divine architect who created it all for his inscrutable purposes, with one logical system underpinning all of it.

Reject relativism and the lies and censorship necessary to uphold it. Accept truth, embrace beauty, knock and the door will be opened to you.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

I live in the DC area, which is why I am aware of a little known fact: the Congress provides any DC high school grad with a nifty $50,000 bonus:

Go Tribe's picture

The fuckin' shit! What the hell is going on???? Nothing more than paying for votes and greasing the palms of fed workers.

Offthebeach's picture

So, two...three. 'utes a year, qualify.

potlatch's picture

you do realize you take a range of classes in a proper college education, correct?  It is not like your vo-tech school.  You take classes in lots of things, not just your profession, or as you would likely call it, yer jerb.


The general and broad malaise of idiocy that is driving the world and US economy into the ground, is often -- I say often, not always -- quite vividly indicated in the comments of those angry about the idiocy, re: "education."


They demonstrate all too often, they are the thing itself they are speaking of so angrily.  The general and broad malaise of idiocy.  It's not just the economy, stupid.  It's just general stupidity, free range stupidity, that bedevils us. 

And not understanding the nature and purpose of a solid higher education, is part of that general idiocy.


Learn, people.  Do not fear having it ALL.

Smiddywesson's picture

Green for you sir, however, they are actively teaching stupidity at many of these institutions.  Unless a parent teaches a child to think, they are vulnerable to becoming part of the problem.

optionsman's picture

i am tempted to say you are correct. however correct you are about the range of subjects etc. and generally about education (more is better than less)- overall you are wrong. just think how the education is given- most of it is multiple choice tests and exams etc.- which is just an extension of xbox games for a couple of generations. it is about how to game the system not about the actual substantive knowledge. why would anyone bother with striving to really learn?- that is another question for another day......but the short answer is similar to the reason why it is a better paying job to shuffle papers in security markets (rentiers) rather than create added value typically represented by those pieces of paper......

Smiddywesson's picture

"College should be a time of growing up, learning to prioritize, plan, research and prepare yourself for the real world.  It should NOT be an on-site job training center.  Despite the emphasis on technology we still need literature, history and anthropology majors (I am an engineer). "

Well said, and I'd give anything for you to be right, but unfortunately, the world has changed and kids have to grow up BEFORE they go to college or their lives will be ruined by debt and despair. 

"(W)e still need (insert well rounded liberal arts degree here)"... equates to you saying society needs to do this to fix this mess.  Unfortunately, fixing this mess is not going to happen.  The people who call the shots are pulling the tuna nets out of the water, so in this crappy "winner takes all" society, you either get a skill to escape the net, or you get eaten by the killers pulling the lines.

It's not pretty, but there it is.  I'm not arming my kids with what I think society needs, I'm trying to equip them to survive.  I'll send my kid to welding school before I send him to get an Anthropology degree.

They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

How about the acknowledgment that the rigid order of the universe must have come from some orderING intelligence, since all order must necessarily and ultimately come from intelligence and not randomness.

Apparently a bunch of liberal arts major retards are now more intelligent than Plato because they think that logical proof is limited only to what you can see and what is vetted by "peer-reviewed journals" (just don't ask who the "peers" are!).

Political_Savage's picture

$20,000 seems a little light to me. Maybe for state schools or online degrees.

Go to a higher-end school (which still doesn't guarantee a job in the new normal) and you're looking at $80,000.

Hard to justify the paper, until you go online and submit an application knowing you're disqualified because you do have AT LEAST a CFA/MBA/PhD... online auto-filter won't even let you land in an inbox.

A recruiter called me last week about a job (I'm actually happily employed now after a punishing year without). Said I wasn't interested but I got a friend that's better qualified and currently out of work. He responded they weren't looking at unemployed candidates at this time... DOUCHE BAG!! You and the hiring manager... go FUCK yourselves!

James_Cole's picture

Go to a higher-end school (which still doesn't guarantee a job in the new normal) and you're looking at $80,000.

My sibling was doing cost analysis for Phd program at Stanford (as a non-American + living expenses) and estimated it would require somewhere in the ballpark of $300k of loans. Meanwhile top school for the speciality in Europe offered a full scholarship + $60k / yr salary and many other benefits. 

Stanford, great school and all but people would do well to look outside of the US unless you're really certain a giant loan is worth it. 

The Carbonator's picture

I got a Computer Engineering degree from a City School.


I'm doing better than many of my friends who went to private high end schools, and got BS (bull shit) degrees.


They looked down at me when they went to their fancy dorms and I stayed home with my parents.  Now i'm kicking them in the Balls.


It's what YOU make of your education, not the BS paper.

James_Cole's picture


I'm doing better than many of my friends who went to private high end schools, and got BS (bull shit) degrees.


They looked down at me when they went to their fancy dorms and I stayed home with my parents.  Now i'm kicking them in the Balls.


Which is probably why there's such a concerted effort to defund public colleges (and thus raise tuition astronomically high) in many areas. Lazy / stupid people are sick of competing with folks who may not have the financial resources but get ahead through hard work & sacrifice. 


They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

$20k is very light. When I was in school not too long ago, the average schmuck owed near or in the six figures.

Son of Loki's picture

There are jobs but you have to settle for less and also work while in univeristy. I did both and even took a weekend job after grad and paid off 100% in 3 years...was not easy but being Debt Free is incredibly nice.


people do not realize many companies (like law offices, doctors,, etc) will not hire you if they see lots of debt or bad credit. It's a security (and liability) risk to them they do not need.

MachoMan's picture

Of course, many WILL hire you because you have student loan debt...  so they can agree to pay it off over a number of years while paying you substandard wages...  then, when you're almost about to vest (and not have to repay the payments they have made on your behalf), they'll fire your ass...  seen it quite a few times...  in employer friendly/at-will states, good luck getting any redress.

This is also why government jobs are so sought after...  not only do they pay as much or more than their private counterparts, but they'll extinguish your loans for you too!  Must be nice...

Gert_B_Frobe's picture

Hey, that Harvard degree got Soledud O'Brien a nice cushy job to show off her Ivy league expertise.


"God d@mn rich c*nt"

underman's picture

College kids (children) are taking on 20-40k (and more!) in debt without the slightest idea of what's to come of their lives after graduating.  Running on nothing but blind, absolute optimism.  Debt slaves before they even know how to think for themselves.       

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

20-40k isn't alot of money....its equivalent to a mid-medium level car....but it is easier to get out of the car loan than the student loan. just saying.

pragmatic hobo's picture

because we have learned that stock markets do drop ... and margin calls are a bitch to deal with.

ratso's picture

Perhaps you might consider the concentration of recently graduated lawyers in DC who have the very high debt levels.  Not as confusing as it looks at first sight.  Many of them are on K Street.

Arius's picture

and many more looking for a job, while temping ... a job which most likely will never come ... there you have it - THE DREAM!  everyone can become what he wants to, and he/she deserves it!  as a smart man once said you got to be sleeping to believe it ...

tarsubil's picture

In DC, it is about where you went to school. What a rotten place.

RafterManFMJ's picture

I want to collage on my computer and recieved two degrees from the comfort of my own home! Now I am lucrative gyrocopter repair/painter and message therapist! I owe less than 110,000 student laon and am very eployable.  Soon I fix gyrocopter, then message you longtime!! Thanks you very much, University of Phoexnex!

Keynesian Mess's picture

Chuckle of the day!  Thanks RM.

Blano's picture

One of the more original avatars I've seen there Doc.

tempo's picture

robots and studeent loans. Millions of jobs are lost each year to automation/robots. Its accelerating. So to keep consumption from dropping, central banks create trillions of new debt. Central bankers hid youth unemployment keeping people in college and poverty with foodstamps. College just one of the many bubbles being created. Let everyone have their dream.

The Paucity of Hope's picture

Add to that, a friend of mine (a teenager) was looking at joining the Peace Corps. That now requires a minimum of a BA

MachoMan's picture

Case in point, my wife has her own practice...  rather than hire someone, we opted to purchase some practice management software that performs all of the functions of a billing clerk, filing clerk, scheduler, appointment reminder, and information/data security...  many of these functions are the only jobs available for twenty-somethings...  these jobs are going away due to productivity gains in software.  The software company probably requires a staff of ~20 to keep maintained...  meanwhile, it's probably destroyed 20,000+ jobs (albeit mostly part-time/low pay).  Oops.

Shizzmoney's picture

The more student loans in a state usually means the more corrupted their people are.

When you have a society in ad hoc, you have a society that will do tricks for treats like a dog to his master.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

That's insulting to my dog. He does tricks to amuse himself.

The treats are just because I love him. :)

Arius's picture

nice ... i am sure your dog loves you too!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

He says he does. But I think he thinks he's human.

Arius's picture

if he doesnt think so, then he must be a contrarian :)