Student debt totaled $1.31 trillion at the end of 2016, and a recent study by Citizens Bank found that college graduates up to age 35 spend 18 percent of their salaries just on student loan payments. The U.S. cities with the greatest student debt burden, compared with the median earnings for graduates in that city, are:
1. Ypsilanti, Mich. —median student debt of $24,339, or 85 percent of median earnings
2. Bloomington, Ind. — median student debt of $20,804, or 78 percent of median earnings
3. Hamtramck, Mich. — median student debt of $19,680, or 73 percent of median earnings
4. Athens, Ga. — median student debt of $22,471, or 72 percent of median earnings
5. Park Forest, Ill. — median student debt of $27,349, or 72 percent of median earnings
Chattanooga ranked in the bottom 20 percent of cities for student debt with a median student debt for graduates of $19,243, or 46 percent of the median income in Chattanooga.