High student loan debt payments are burdening millennials, but in some areas the payment is cutting into paychecks more drastically than others.
A new interactive map by Generation Progress breaks down average student debt burden for each zip code across the nation.
CityLab writer Claire Tran presents some of the findings:
Americans pay an average of 6 percent of each paycheck toward student loans, but in large cities that tend to have more young and low-income borrowers, like New York City or Washington, D.C., debt burden can surpass 10 percent. That’s way more than the 5.5 percentof a paycheck that Americans typically spend on groceries, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Researchers found that debt burden is highest in neighborhoods like southeast D.C., where employment rates are low, signaling how the student debt crisis is closely linked to the health of the labor market. Areas with low debt burden tend to have higher average loan balances, like in Manhattan, suggesting that those who take on more student loans already have the financial stability to pay it off more easily, or more access to high-paying jobs post-graduation. But Marshall Steinbaum, research director at the Roosevelt Institute who worked with Generation Progress on the project, believes these geographic disparities are caused by more than just higher salaries, but also the stark racial and income segregation within cities.Read More