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

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.