The 10 Cities With The Most Student Loan Debt

Shutterstock

How much student loan debt is in your hometown?

According to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.

A new study from Lending Tree analyzed the places with the most student loan debt.

Let’s see if your town made the cut.

Here are the Top 10 cities with the most student loans debt — and what you can do to pay off your student loans faster.

10. Charleston, South Carolina

(Photo by Christopher Pillitz/ In Pictures via Getty Images)

Median Loan Balance: $20,469
Average # of Loans: 3.9
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 24.4%
% Who More Than $100,000: 7.0%

9. Columbia, South Carolina

Median Loan Balance: $20,560
Average # of Loans: 3.9
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 23.3%
% Who More Than $100,000: 7.9%

8. Jackson, Mississippi

Median Loan Balance: $20,469
Average # of Loans: 4.0
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 24.8%
% Who More Than $100,000: 8.7%

7. Birmingham, AL

(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Median Loan Balance: $20,679
Average # of Loans: 3.6
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 24.2%
% Who More Than $100,000: 7.7%

6. Little Rock, Arkansas

(Photo by Andrea Morales/Getty Images)

Median Loan Balance: $21,031
Average # of Loans: 3.8
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 25.9%
% Who More Than $100,000: 7.6%

5. Akron, Ohio

Median Loan Balance: $21,037
Average # of Loans: 3.5
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 23.0%
% Who More Than $100,000: 6.5%

4. Raleigh, North Carolina

Median Loan Balance: $21,357
Average # of Loans: 3.7
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 22.9%
% Who More Than $100,000: 8.7%

3. Richmond, Virginia

Median Loan Balance: $21,915
Average # of Loans: 3.8
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 23.9%
% Who More Than $100,000: 7.7%

2. Atlanta, Georgia

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Median Loan Balance: $22,232
Average # of Loans: 3.8
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 26.0%
% Who More Than $100,000: 9.1%

1. Washington, D.C.

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Median Loan Balance: $22,803
Average # of Loans: 3.4
% Who Owe More Than $50,000: 25.8%
% Who More Than $100,000: 9.8%

How To Pay Off Student Loans Faster

When it comes to paying off your student loans, the good news is that the ball is in your court.

Here are 5 ways to pay off student loans faster:

1. Make an extra payment

Be sure to specify that you want to apply any extra payment above the minimum payment to principal only (not to next month’s monthly payment) to limit the amount of interest that accrues.

Without this instruction, your lender will hold the excess payment and apply it to next month’s payment – which means you would pay more interest.

2. Pay an extra $100 each month

That may sound challenging if you’re barely able to pay your minimum monthly payment, but if you instruct your lender to apply the extra $100 to reducing principal, you could save thousands of dollars in interest.

If you can’t afford $100, any amount – $10, $25, $50 or more – will help save you interest.

3. Make a lump-sum student loan payment

Let’s assume that you have $100,000 in student loans at a 7% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term.

If you make a one-time, lump sum payment of $2,000, you would save $1,703 on your student loans and pay off your student loans 4 months early.

4. Apply for public service loan forgiveness

While student loan forgiveness may not continue as a federal program (in its current form or at all), Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness are still available to qualifying individuals.

5. Refinance your student loans

Student loan refinance is often the single best strategy to lower your student loan rate.

You can choose either fixed or variable rates and loan terms ranging from 5 to 20 years. To maximize your chances of being approved to refinance student loans, you should apply simultaneously to multiple lenders.