(WTVM) – Going into debt to get a college degree and a job is a growing trend, but those borrowers do better in many other states than Georgia and Alabama. Both states fall in the list of 10 worst for student debt nationwide, according to a new study by personal financial website WalletHub.
Where you live after graduating can have a big impact on several important pieces to a person's future: likelihood of landing a good paying job; how well you handle that student debt, along with other new bills; living expenses; and how much your diploma is really worth.
To make sure your loan doesn't break you, experts suggest your payment should not exceed 8-10 percent of your monthly income.
No southeastern states made WalletHub's top 10 best for student debt and only one from the U.S. East coast – Virginia at 6th, which was beat out by the top state Utah, followed by Wyoming, North Dakota, Washington, and Nebraska.
The worst state for student debt, according to the financial website, is Mississippi. On that list, Alabama is 44th and Georgia ranks 47th. South Carolina was also in the bottom 10. To see the full list, click here.
To make the list, WalletHub looked at seven key metrics to compare states, with special emphasis given to student debt as a percentage of average income, along with the local unemployment rate for people aged 25 to 34 and the percentage of borrowers aged 50 or older.
"Despite the evidence that income potential rises and chances of joblessness decline with more schooling, many graduates entering the labor market are learning the hard way that a college degree can't guarantee financial security. Student-loan borrowers will fare better in states that produce a combination of lower college-related debt levels, stronger economies and higher incomes," WalletHub writers and researchers say.
At the end of the first quarter of 2015, total outstanding student loan balances disclosed on credit reports stood at $1.19 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The latest figure represents an increase of $32 billion from the previous quarter and $78 billion from a year ago.