It’s no secret that America has a national debt problem. Whether you stumble into credit card debt due to out-of-control spending habits or you suffered an unexpected injury and racked up thousands in medical debt at no fault of your own, Americans are reeling from the financial burden and never-ending merry-go-round of credit card payments. Compile that with accruing interest, late fees, and bad credit and you have a recipe for disaster.
To get a holistic picture of the U.S. debt crisis over time, we analyzed different areas of debt (credit card debt, student loans, healthcare debt, etc.) to see how Americans’ bottom lines — and credit scores — are being affected. Keep reading to discover which states are in the red and which ones have kissed credit card payments goodbye.
How U.S. Debt Has Changed Over Time and the States Impacted the Most
We examined the debt per capita over the past 10years, factoring in mortgage debt, auto debt, student loan debt, and credit card debt. Read on to find out which states are feeling the impact of the student loan crisis the most and which ones may be better off biking to work instead of driving.
The Commoditization of Education and How Tuition Has Changed Over Time
College tuition inflation rates have been increasing over the years, impacting the amount of debt 18- to 24-year-olds have to take on to get an education. While each generation has had to face its own unique set of challenges, when it comes to student loan debt, there seems to be no reprieve in sight. Almost a fifth of Americans have student debt and demand remains high as college enrollment has only seen a 2% decrease since 2011.
The student loan crisis is preventing some Americans from increasing their savings or buying their first home, but it begs the question — which states offer more affordable college tuition on average? Check out our results below.
Healthcare Debt: ER Bills, Access to Healthcare, and More
To go to the doctor or skip your wellness visit? Millions of Americans are faced with this exact predicament, racking up billions in medical debt, which is why medical debt can feel like the ultimate catch-22. Certain states owe staggering amounts of medical debt while others owe less.
- The average median medical debt in collections in the U.S. is $678.72.
- West Virginia has the highest percentage of the population with medical debt in collections at 24%.
- Wyoming has the highest median medical debt in collections at $1,515. This is $1,176 more than the state with the lowest median medical debt, Hawaii, at just $339.
- Wyoming’s medical debt issue stems from economic health, market conditions, and the aging population, according to experts.
Housing Debt: How Sky-high Mortgage Payments Make It Impossible To Keep Up with the Joneses
House prices are on the rise, leading many Americans to postpone home ownership. We took a look at which states have the highest median home values and which ones have the highest amount of mortgage debt, potentially turning their dream home into their real-life nightmare.
In 1950, the median home value was only $7,400 and the median rent was only $42 — boy, how times have changed. We analyzed the median mortgage debt per capita and the shocking increase that has taken place in just the last few years. Even the Joneses can’t keep up with the Joneses.
To get an understanding of the U.S. debt crisis and which areas were impacting Americans the most, we collected data points on in-state tuition, cost of living, median monthly income, U.S. college enrollment, household debt, household savings, and other similar factors. We collected data from 2011 to 2021 to get a picture of how debt has changed over time. Note, to determine how far the average salary in every state can go, we compared each state’s average salary to its cost of living. Sources include:
America’s national debt problem isn’t letting up anytime soon. From auto debt to college tuition and rising healthcare costs, debt seems to be steadily increasing in all areas of life. While supply and demand certainly do play a factor, college enrollment has seen a 2% decrease since 2011, despite more Americans taking on student debt.
When it comes to mortgage payments, places like Hawaii, D.C., and California offer a less-than-desirable place to call home if you’re looking for lower mortgage rates. On the other hand, if you’re fortunate enough to live in places like Hawaii then perhaps you don’t know what it’s like to have an enormous amount of medical debt.
No matter what type of debt you have or if you owe nothing to the lender (congratulations!), your relationship with debt can have a vast impact on your financial future and spending habits.
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