Buried in student loan debt? Well, if it helps at all, A LOT of Michiganders are... Misery loves company?

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Grand Rapids Business Journal reports that a new study from AdvisorSmith finds that Michigan ranks 5th in the country for the most people with outstanding student loans.

Firstly, let's dig into how expensive college is in the U.S. on average. According to an August 2021 study by EducationData.

The average cost of college (for this particular report, meaning any postsecondary educational institution that offers an undergraduate degree program) in the United States is $35,720 per student per year. The cost has tripled in 20 years, with an annual growth rate of 6.8%.

To determine their ranking, AdvisorSmith used data from the U.S. Department of Education on the Federal student loan portfolios held by the U.S. government and info from the U.S. Census Bureau.

They found overall:

At the end of June 2021, the average student loan debt held in the federal student loan portfolio was $37,105. There were a total of 42.9 million borrowers, which is approximately 13% of the total U.S. population.

For Michigan in particular, the study found 14% of the population has outstanding federal student loans with an average loan balance of $36,295... so while the average amount each Michigander owes is less than the national average, there are more people in Michigan who owe student loans than in many other states.

Here are the rest of the states with the most people who have student loan debt:

1. District of Columbia 16%

2. Ohio 15%

3. Georgia 15%

4. Mississippi 15%

5. Michigan 14%

In terms of states with the highest average student loan balances, Michigan ranks 19th. Here are the top 5:

1. District of Columbia $55,077

2. Maryland $43,219

3. Georgia $41,843

4. Virginia $39,472

5. South Carolina $38,662

AdvisorSmith also found that since 2007, the average student loan balance has more than doubled:

In 2007, the average student loan balance was $18,233, while the average student loan balance at the end of June 2021 was $37,105. Furthermore, the number of Americans carrying an outstanding student loan increased from 9% in 2007 to 13% of the population in 2021.

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