CALIFORNIA — A new ranking puts California as the 14th worst in the country when it comes to monthly cost to pay off student loans, according to a new analysis.
Median student loan payments are $203 monthly in California, according to the ranking from the personal finance company WalletHub.
The company compared its own consumer data in all 50 states with the median student loan payments per state, then compared them to come up with the rankings of the highest student loan payments, released Thursday.
Overall, around 43.8 million Americans owe $1.64 trillion in student loans, averaging out to about $37,000 per borrower, according to federal student loan data.
Maryland has the highest median monthly payment at $222 a month, and West Virginia has the lowest at $139 a month.
Borrowers struggling with making monthly student loan payments should track their spending through a monthly budget and cut back where they can, the personal finance company says on its website. A part-time job or other side hustle can put more breathing room in the budget, and making payments on time prevents interest from piling up.
Also, loan forgiveness and repayment programs are available, and some employers offer tuition reimbursement that help borrowers pare down their debt, the company said.
President Joe Biden and his administration are taking a second run at student loan cancellation after conservatives on the Supreme Court ruled in June that Biden couldn’t use the 2003 HEROES Act to wipe out loans.
The latest attempt rests on the sweeping Higher Education Act, which gives the education secretary authority to waive student loans, although how far that power extends is the subject of legal debate. The Biden administration aims to finalize the rule by early next year.
Also, millions of students have signed up the administration’s Saving on a Valuable Education plan, or SAVE, which offers some of the most lenient terms ever, reducing some students’ obligations to zero.