The United States has $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, with over 40 million borrowers shouldering an average balance of about $29,000—even that number seems minuscule, considering the outrageous cost of higher education in this country. And though New York's job market makes the city an attractive place for recent grads in need of a salary, living here with debt is no picnic, and a new map shows where grads are suffering from loan debt the most.
Curbed reported on the map—produced by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth—today, pointing out the loan disparity between neighborhoods with high median incomes and ones with lower incomes. Neighborhoods like the Upper West and East Sides, for instance, have high loan balance amounts but low default rates, whereas poorer neighborhoods, particularly in the Bronx and Eastern Brooklyn, have lower loan balance amounts but higher default rates.
The study says several things might account for this dichotomy, but primarily, residents of richer neighborhoods likely have multiple degrees—they may have taken out more loans, but they're also more likely to have higher paying jobs. Indeed, the Times reported over the summer that students with the lowest debts actually need the most financial help, both because those who get professional degrees earn more, and because students are more likely to default on their loans if they drop out of school, even though they've probably taken out smaller loans.
You can play with the student loan map on the WCEG's website while you plan your inevitable move to North Dakota.