Next to mortgages, student debt is the second highest financial burden for most Americans.  That's according to the personal finance website WalletHub in a study of student debt across the country.

The report offered some interesting findings;

  • 1 in 3 college students say they think they'll be financially worse off than their parents
  • 1 in 4 college students say excellent credit is worth far more than a college degree
  • 63% of college students say their school isn't doing enough to educate them about finances.
  • 42% of college students say they're more concerned with credit card debt than with student loan debt.

The study found that the number of college graduates with student loan debt of $50,000 or more has tripled since 2000.  The total amount of student debt across the country at the end of 2017 was $1.38 trillion.  That's TRILLION.

The WalletHub report offers strategies to pay off student debt, how to find the best and least expensive loan forgiveness programs and what are the most common mistakes people make when applying for a student loan.

Locally, the report studied some towns and the student loan debt their residents have.  With a median student loan debt of $19,049 and median earnings for Bachelor degree holders of $37,473, Lockport had one of the highest ratios of debt to earnings in the country.  Lockport was in the 89th percentile.

Others included;

  • Buffalo - 85th percentile
  • Lancaster - 84th percentile
  • Williamsville - 83rd percentile
  • Niagara Falls - 77th percentile
  • Tonawanda - 67th percentile
  • Depew - 47th percentile
  • North Tonawanda - 45th percentile
  • West Seneca - 45th percentile
  • Hamburg - 39th percentile
  • Orchard Park - 23rd percentile

Many of the lowest percentile scores were in communities where earnings are much higher than the student loan debt.  Here is the complete WalletHub report

Source: Wallethub