(WMC) - With the fall college semester coming to a close - and 11 percent of all student loans in delinquency or default as of the first quarter of 2107 - the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017's States with the Most and Least Student Debt.
To determine the states that are friendliest toward student-loan debtors, WalletHub's analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 10 categories, including average student debt, unemployment rate among the population aged 25 to 34, and share of students with past-due loan balances.
Tennessee ranked 10th in opportunities for grants and student work, and 22nd overall.
States with the Most Student Debt:
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
Best vs. Worst:
Utah has the lowest average student debt, $18,873, which is 1.9 times lower than in New Hampshire, the state with the highest at $36,101.
Utah has the lowest proportion of students with debt, 41 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in New Hampshire, the state with the highest at 76 percent.
South Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate among the population aged 25 to 34, 2.4 percent, which is 3.5 times lower than in Alabama and West Virginia, the states with the highest at 8.3 percent.
Massachusetts has the lowest share of student loans in past-due or default status, 7.84 percent, which is 2.1 times lower than in West Virginia, the state with the highest at 16.40 percent.
Hawaii has the lowest share of student-loan borrowers aged 50 or older, 3.96 percent, which is 2.6 times lower than in Vermont, the state with the highest at 10.15 percent.
To view the full report and see where the states ranked, click here.