Report finds California graduates have less debt than peers nationwide

FILE PHOTO: Members of the 2017 graduating class march in to begin the College of the Canyons commencement ceremony held in the Honor Grove at College of the Canyons in Valencia on June 2. Dan Watson/For the Signal

In California, college graduates tend to fair better than students across the nation when it comes to their student debt, according to a report from WalletHub.

The report, “2017 States with the Most and Least Student Debt,” compared data across 10 key metrics from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to find which were the friendliest toward student-loan debtors.

On its list, California ranked near the bottom at No. 48, meaning that the state ranked fourth among states with the least student debt.

When completing its analysis, WalletHub compared the states’ average amount of student debt, student debt as a share of income, past-due or default status, unemployment rates for graduates, availability of jobs and opportunities for paid internships, among others.

The report found that student borrowers tend to do better in strong-economy states with low college-debt-to-income ratios, like in California.

For example, the average student graduates from a California college with $22,191 in loan debt and 54 percent of students graduate with debt.

The state also compared well when looking at a graduate’s debt as a percentage of income, at the availability of student jobs and at the availability of paid internships.

California also faired better than states in the Midwest and Southeast, with Ohio and Mississippi taking the No. 1 and No. 2 spots for students with the most college debt.

West Virginia was also considered to be the worst place for grant and student work opportunities, and South Dakota was named the worst place for student-loan indebtedness.

Overall throughout the United States, outstanding college loan balances disclosed on credit reports totaled $1.34 trillion in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

This number reflected an increase of $34 billion since of the end of 2016.

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