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The 10 worst states for college graduates with student debt
Two-thirds of recent graduates have student loans, with an average balance of more than $27,000
 
When student debt soars, the economy suffers.
When student debt soars, the economy suffers. Think Stock

The student debt crisis continues to grow larger and more dangerous with each passing school year. The skyrocketing price for a college degree is causing an epidemic with student loans as more people rack up unsustainable amounts of debt to further their education. Using debt to obtain a degree can be beneficial if done properly, but there are certainly some states worse off than others when comparing debt to earnings.

With lenders handing out loans like candy, the amount of student loan debt in America has nearly doubled in the past five years, from $550 billion in late 2007 to $986 billion in the first quarter of 2013. In fact, two-thirds of recent graduates have student loans, with an average balance of more than $27,000, according to a new report from the Joint Economic Committee.

The report was released by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in an effort to bring awareness to the issue and prompt Congress to block the scheduled interest rate hike for student loans. If Congress fails to take action by July 1, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The change would increase the cost of a college education by $4,500 for a student borrowing the maximum amount.

"Allowing the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to double at a time when the government's cost of borrowing is so low undermines the public policy objective of providing affordable loans to students," the report explains. "The increasing debt burden presents challenges for recent graduates just beginning their careers and poses a potential risk to the economy, since individuals who shoulder heavier debt balances may delay purchasing a home, buying a car, starting a family and saving for retirement."

Although there are many variables to consider during the college process, here's a look at the 10 worst states if you are a recent college graduate with debt and a job:

Pennsylvania
Across the nation, the average college graduate has a debt load that is equal to 60 percent of their annualized average weekly earnings. However, the Keystone State has a debt to earnings ratio of 70 percent. Also, 70 percent of recent graduates in the state have debt.

Michigan
The Great Lakes State has a debt to earnings ratio of 71 percent, with an average debt load of $28,021 for recent college grads, offset with an annualized average weekly earnings of $39,737.

Rhode Island
The Ocean State also has a debt to earnings ratio of 71 percent. Sixty-nine percent of graduates have debt, while almost 17 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans.

Indiana
The Hoosier State has a debt to earnings ratio of 72 percent. Sixty-three percent of graduates have debt, and 17.1 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans.

Maine
The Pine Tree State has a debt to earnings ratio of 74 percent. Seventy-one percent of graduates have debt, and 14.5 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans.

Montana
The Treasure State also has a debt to earnings ratio of 74 percent. Sixty-five percent of graduates have debt. However, only 10.1 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans, one of the lowest rates among the nation.

Ohio
The Buckeye State has a debt to earnings ratio of 75 percent. Sixty-eight percent of graduates have debt, and 17.1 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans.

New Hampshire
The Granite State has a debt to earnings ratio of 76 percent. Seventy-five percent of graduates have debt, and 12.5 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans.

Iowa
The Hawkeye State also has a debt to earnings ratio of 76 percent. Seventy-two percent of graduates have debt, and 14.3 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans.

Vermont
The Green Mountain State has the highest debt to earnings ratio at 82 percent. Sixty-three percent of graduates have debt, but only 9.8 percent are at least 90 days delinquent on their student loans — the third lowest rate among all 50 states.


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