State by State: Where Americans Are Best and Worst at Managing Debt

Data from more than half a million borrowers shows that people lower-income states often manage their debt better than those where incomes are higher.

US map with Ben Franklin printed on it.esfera /

Guess what: Borrowers in poorer states sometimes do better at managing debt than those who live in more affluent areas. That’s according to a new study from that analyzed data from 540,000 borrowers.

The site weighed figures for student and consumer debt plus housing expenses against average monthly incomes. The study found that on average, Americans spend $207 a month on credit card payments, $370 on student loan payments, and $906 on housing, while earning an average of $60,671 per year.

But the state-by-state breakdown reveal that higher salaries don’t necessarily equate to good debt handling, and a smaller paychecks don’t automatically suggest poor debt handling.

Credible calculated a “monthly debt-to-income ratio” for each state, and from that created a ranking. The top spot (with the lowest monthly debt-to-income ratio) might surprise you. Read on to find out what it is, and where your state ranks.


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