These Are The US Cities Where Graduates Struggle The Most With Student Debt

With tuition at private colleges routinely eclipsing the $60,000 mark, it’s more important than ever for recent graduates to settle in cities where circumstances allow them to start paying down their massive debt piles as quickly as possible.

That means a city with strong job offers, but where the cost of living isn’t so high as to siphon off a young worker’s earnings.

To that end, Credible crunched the numbers for the country’s 23 most populous cities and ranked them according to how much younger workers struggle with student-debt payments. The lender, using data from 9,000 of its own borrowers, took the average income in each of those cities with the average monthly housing payment and their average monthly student loan payment, and found that the city where students struggle the most is San Jose, Calif., followed by Fort Worth, Texas and Boston, Mass.

In Dallas, Jacksonville, and Houston, the cities that topped Credible’s ranking for the most affordable cities for recent grads, borrowers have more of their income left over after paying their monthly loan and housing bills as compared to the other cities on the list. More than 70% of US students borrow money to attend college, with the average debt load among this cohort amounting to about $37,000.


But even in these cities, “nearly 27 percent of borrowers’ average monthly income is eaten up by their monthly housing payment and their monthly loan payment alone. That doesn’t even take into account other expenses such as taxes, food, or transportation," according to Credible.

It’s also not that far removed from the more than 30 percent of borrowers’ average monthly income dedicated to loan and housing payments in the cities at the top of the list.

But this isn’t that surprising. While monthly housing costs tend to be slightly higher in the least affordable cities compared with the other cities, the margin of difference isn’t large – suggesting that, while affordability might be one factor that grads take into account when choosing where to live, high rents don’t necessarily prevent people from flocking to certain cities.


Endgame Napoleon Sam.Spade Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:06 Permalink

The salaries and the percentage of income for housing are WAY off. In my city, you will not find people who pay less than 30% of their income for housing, and wages are so low that many pay 50% of their income for housing, particularly if trying to live alone. This is why the Census Bureau reflects that 30% of 18 -- 34 year olds live with their parents. If you ad in all the single moms with "independent" housing financed by government, you get an idea of how expensive housing is. There is no way you could ad the student loan and housing, coming up with 30% unless they are splitting expenses in big, post-college groups of unattached roommates.

In reply to by Sam.Spade

SmittyinLA Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:06 Permalink

They were poor students that didn't learn to vote to defend their own sovereignty.

I feel obligated to make THEM pay back THEIR own non-dischargeable loans.

Return the favor no student loan bailouts for sanctuary city looters.

az_patriot (not verified) Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:11 Permalink

Don't want to be burdened with student debt?  THEN DON'T GO INTO DEBT!  Unless someone is headed into a professional field that requires specific education (i.e. doctor, lawyer, engineer) anything more than a two year degree from a community college is a waste of time and effort.  LEARN A TRADE INSTEAD.  Sure -- learning a trade isn't free, and you may incur debt, but not nearly at the level the major colleges and universities are raping students for cash.  You also won't have your brain infected with useless and dangerously mind-altering liberal bullshit.

az_patriot (not verified) sirsmokum (not verified) Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:50 Permalink

It's actually worse than that.  No one wants to understand the cost and value of that hamburger.  If a student is going to go into debt of any kind, they'd better try to understand the end result.  Many kids exit college and immediately go to work -- at Starbucks.  And then they blame everyone else for their predicament and dedicate their life to being Internet trolls.  :-)

In reply to by sirsmokum (not verified)

Endgame Napoleon az_patriot (not verified) Sat, 06/24/2017 - 23:22 Permalink

The best school for auto mechanics in my city charges $25,000, the last time I heard. It has likely gone up. Many men get higher paying jobs when graduating from that school than by getting a bachelor's degree in a liberal arts subject, including when teaching secondary school in rural areas, which is said to be a good second income for moms by superintendents of schools.

The last time I heard -- about 7 years ago -- starting pay there was $12/hr ($25,000/year), but it goes up incrementally over time, like the pay in all government jobs. Whereas, many auto mechanics who graduate from the pricest school make $15/hr. But plenty of men make between $8 -- $10/hr in small shops.

I have actually seen the tax charts for teacher pay in urban school districts, and there, it starts out above $30k. With a master's degree (or after 10 years of employment), the pay is about $50,000/year.

Private sector jobs requiring college degrees do not get anywhere near $77k in most cases, including when people have 4-year degrees and major in very practical fields, like the medical field.

The pay for RNs in my city's nationally known hospital, which is affiliated with a well-known private university, is in the $40k range. It is in the 40s, not in the 70s. Nurse practitioners who have only 1 more year of schooling are sometimes paid in the $80k range. The caseworkers who are usually older floor nurses -- i.e. registered nurses -- make in the 30s for that desk job.

This is a city with a lot of medical clout, both in terms of the teaching college and the insurers. Big insurers that pay most of their corporate office employees beans are located here, staffing almost entirely with married mommas whose spousal income covers their major household bills and with mommas on welfare/taxfare. They are often paid between $10 -- $11/hr (or in the $20k range). Insurance licenses do not help you gain employment in these mom-dominated settings. Most of the women do not have degrees, but some do.

Many corporate office jobs held by college grads who did not major in liberal arts pay very little more, like around $14/hr ($28k) for employees with bachelor's degrees in finance at a large, nationally known bank. Some of the wireless companies pay similar salaries for some back-office and call center positions and considerably less for retail. Of course, many of those jobs are staffed by temp agencies and are just churn jobs with massive turnover, as in the insurance industry and in financial services in general.

If working for one of the few companies that actually pays the promised commission, you can sometimes make that much or more as a college grad or as a non college grad with insurance licenses, although few P&C companies pay regular enough commission to those who meet the quotas to even get up into the 30s. The base pay is very low; it is in the $10 to $12/hr range. And many call centers staff most positions with unlicensed people, adding a couple of people who go through the costly, time-consuming, biannual licensing and renewal procedure as "signers."

The $77k figure is just ridiculous. It is like they found the one connected-up guy making $500k and averaged him in to drive the number up. His salary is so far above everyone else that it is beside the point.

And you can bet that he and any $77k people are married to other high earners. They concentrate the wealth from two $77k jobs under one roof. Each of those jobs could support 2 separate households.

Or, the hubby makes $77k, which could support the household just fine, but rather than raising her own children, the wife takes a $20k mommy-clique job in a nice, safe area of the city to finance luxuries. She leaves work all the time in an excused absenteeism clique of moms, helping to guarantee that pay will never go up in such jobs. Because, as with the moms whose major bills are covered by welfare/taxfare, employers know they do not need higher pay.

In reply to by az_patriot (not verified)

BarkingCat az_patriot (not verified) Sat, 06/24/2017 - 23:34 Permalink

Just had my car repaired. Labor rate is $110 per hour.Fuck!!! Last year I called a truck dealership to get my RV serviced.Their hourly rate for working on a RV is $175.Double fuck!!!I know the mechanics get only a fraction of that but still....crazy rates to pay for a mechanic when a software programmer with a bachelor's costs less.

In reply to by az_patriot (not verified)

merizobeach BarkingCat Sun, 06/25/2017 - 04:51 Permalink

Try chatting with one of the mechanics and independently hire him to do some of the work in his spare time.  He can earn double or triple his usual wage, and you'll still save most of what you would've paid to the shop.  Obviously some of the work may require the specialized equipment in the shop, but a lot of it might be doable with the tools that they guy has in his own garage.  

In reply to by BarkingCat

all-priced-in BarkingCat Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:19 Permalink

Normally the mechanic will be paid a flat rate for the job based on how many hours it should take to do the job  X their hourly pay rate ($30 or whatever). They are sort of like contract workers. Say replacing a timing belt - the standard is 1.25 hours -- so they get $30 X 1.25 = $37.50 If it takes them 3 hours they get $37.50 -- if they get the job done in an hour they get $37.50. The shop will charge you $110 X 1.25 hours for labor no matter how long it takes the guy to finish the job. My cousin is a diesel mechanic - he is super fast and really likes what he does - he made $140K last year and works M-F /  9-4:30.      

In reply to by BarkingCat

swmnguy Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:12 Permalink

Nothing too surprising here.  The most expensive cities to live in are where the pay is the highest.  People with the most student loan debt tend to have degrees that command a higher wage, so they go to the places where those jobs are, and housing costs more there.  And it seems the reverse is true as well.

Hungman swmnguy Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:38 Permalink

I don't know abot that. The DFW is pretty much the holy land for jobs in the US and the cost of living hasn't gotten to out of control yet. As long as TX doesn't flip liberal with all of the Californians and New Yorkers moving in, it should be the economic center of the US for the next several decades. 

In reply to by swmnguy

az_patriot (not verified) BeepBeepRichie Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:35 Permalink

I have a Masters equivalent in my field (which is generally recognized), but never went to anything other than a community college for a little while back in the '70s.  The rest was highly specialized education and work experience unique to my profession and a series of certifications.  I'm also 100 percent debt free, never owed a dime to a college or university, and have a very comfortable income -- no different than if I had the actual sheepskin and paid tens of thousands to a university.I've been in the position of hiring people before, and I can say one thing for certain:  I never gave a damn about a potential employee's degree.  In fact, having a degree in my field can be dangerous:  someone right out of college can think they know it all and have a horrid attitude to boot.  The very best employees are often the ones you can train and educate from the ground-up.

In reply to by BeepBeepRichie

az_patriot (not verified) mary mary Sat, 06/24/2017 - 22:26 Permalink

Well, that's one hell of a stupid red herring response.  Who cares?  Maybe I could, maybe I couldn't.  Maybe "calculus, physics, and chemistry" aren't necessary in my field of work.  Maybe you need common sense, technical skills, and a solid work ethic. 

In reply to by mary mary

mary mary bionicknees Mon, 06/26/2017 - 17:53 Permalink

John Crapper was an engineer.  John Deere was a brilliant blacksmith who invented the stainless-steel plough blade, which is perfect application of science.  I think toilet paper and toothpicks have been around for thousands of years, in various forms.  Folding chairs, too.  Sandwich bag is plastics, which is chemistry and industrial (manufacturing) engineering.  Plastics are chemical engineering.

In reply to by bionicknees

mary mary az_patriot (not verified) Mon, 06/26/2017 - 17:57 Permalink

As long as you keep your business going and hire and train young people, I am your fan. I just have a fear of another Dark Ages, because I think people can always demand a Dark Age, and since I fear that, I try to lobby for science and engineering.  I value colleges which teach science and engineering, which of course include math, physics, and chemistry.  If we didn't have math, physics, and chemistry, we wouldn't have solid-state electronics.

In reply to by az_patriot (not verified)

adanata Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:14 Permalink

Dear "student"...nothing is free. Someone must pay. New concept alert: if you want what passes for an "education" these days, that is entirely your decision and your own personal responsibility. Get it?

Posa adanata Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:32 Permalink

Liberatrian babble. The USA became a great nation, as did orthers (such as Germany and Japan, and now China) becasue educatrion is a national asset that drives growth and productivity. Education in the US has become a racket with wildly inflated prices... the US government needs to step in and end this predatory behavioor.The best idea: fund state Universities that provide quality education at affordable prices... trim down bureaucratic demands that drive high overhead costs... fund plant and equipment and dorms... take over lending and provide more grants and reduced funds for lending... then let the market adjust. Let the FEd buy university construction bonds with AE techniques instead of sticking the tax-payer.Also support community colleges, certain professional education (medicine and selected engineering/ STEM specialties) 

In reply to by adanata

vietnamvet shovelhead Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:56 Permalink

You obviously just landed on Earth because you have no fucking clue about education outside the blood-sucking profit-maximixing debt-inflating U.S. education "system".  Only a moron like yourself thinks charging tuition is a good idea.  In civilized countries like Germany where investing in the people is a priority (as opposed to filling corporate pockets with more money) all higher education is free for both nationals and international students at universities across the country.  And Germany has among the most productive workers and scientists on the planet, the one you just landed on.

In reply to by shovelhead

az_patriot (not verified) Posa Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:42 Permalink

Our kids don't get an "education" anymore -- they get indoctrinated.  There are fewer and fewer colleges and universities that actually focus on a real education.  It's all Tibetan basket weaving, porn studies, and Hating Your Country 101.And the government needs to get the hell out of it all.

In reply to by Posa