There’s a growing debate over student loan forgiveness as President Biden is reportedly moving forward on a plan to cancel around $10,000 of those loans per borrower.
So how big of an issue is it for the D.C. area?
According to a recent report by WalletHub, the District ranks higher than most cities for people overleveraged by student debt.
The median student debt in the District is $33,175, while the median income of bachelor’s degree holders is $71,842, making the ratio of student debt to income around 46%.
Arlington and Bethesda rank much lower on the list, at around 35% and 34%, respectively.
The ratio for Alexandria is higher — around 38%. (See table below.)
Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with Wallet Hub, told WTOP it’s likely due to more people having lower-paying, entry-level government jobs in D.C.
Nationwide, student debt is at a record $1.6 trillion. Gonzalez said it’s the second-biggest form of household debt after mortgages.
The report surveyed more than 2,500 cities. Those with the lowest debt-to-income ratio include Coachella, California; Bronxville, New York; and Severna Park, Maryland.
The Biden administration recently extended the pause on federal student loan payments through Aug. 31. A survey in April from U.S. News & World Report found that 37% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to make federal student loan payments if they resume Sept. 1.
|Median earnings of
bachelor’s degree holders
|Ratio of debt