20 Best & Worst Cities To Live In When You're In Debt
Student Loan Hero compiled the twenty cities on both ends of the debt tolerance spectrum by analyzing average wages, taxes, cost of living, unemployment rate, and average credit score. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips. Cities were ranked by the calculated average disposable income of its residents.
Says Elyssa Kirkham, Financial Expert at Student Loan Hero "In the best cities, residents' incomes are high compared to the costs they face - giving them more wiggle room in their budgets. Because of this, they can more easily free up funds that they can use to make extra payments toward debt and pay them off."
Debtors will have it a bit easier in these twenty cities, in descending order starting with the best.
1. Durham, NC - Relatively high wages and a low cost of living give Durham residents an annual disposable income of nearly $22,000 - tops in the study.
2. Kennewick, WA - You may be unaware of this hidden gem in southeastern Washington. Kennewick has a surprisingly high average wage and nearly $21,000 in disposable income.
3. Houston, TX - The fourth largest U.S. city is the third-best place for debtors, with an average disposable income of $20,422.
4. Des Moines, IA - A cost of living that's 10.9% below the national average leads to disposable income of just over $20,000.
5. Austin, TX - Austin's disposable income is nearly that of Des Moines, with a higher cost of living balancing out a lower income tax burden.
The next five cities in order are Kalamazoo, MI; Memphis, TN; San Antonio, TX; Knoxville, TN; and Huntsville, AL. All except Huntsville have costs of living well below the national average (12.2% to 19.5%) but relatively low wages. Huntsville is the opposite, with higher wages but a nearly average cost of living.
Rounding out the top twenty cities for debtors are, in descending order - Dallas, TX; Columbus, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Dayton, OH; Kingsport, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Amarillo, TX; and Gainesville, FL.
How about the worst cities for debtors? Six of the top ten are in California, thanks mostly to costs of living that are anywhere from 46% to 128% above the national average.