The 10 states where student debt is a big problem

  • The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, has come out with a map of student loan debt.
  • Debt is higher in some states than others — and so is the amount in default.

Student loan debt in America has been called a crisis.

The loans many students take out to cover their education can impair them from owning houses and saving for retirement later in life.

And many others can't even make their monthly payments. Some 40 percent of borrowers are expected to default on their loans by 2023.

In some states, the situation is worse than others.

That's the takeaway from a new project by The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, which has mapped student loan debt across the country.

Here are 10 states hit hard by student loans.

1) Washington, D.C. 

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Share of residents with student loan debt: 21%

Median student loan debt: $24,131

Median student loan debt in collections: $10,154

2) New Hampshire

Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and is the second largest city in the state.
Denis Tangney Jr. | Getty Images
Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and is the second largest city in the state.

Share of residents with student loan debt: 20%

Median student loan debt: $18,777

Median student loan debt in collections: $10,861

3) Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Walter Bibikow | Getty Images
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Share of residents with student loan debt: 20%

Median student loan debt: $18,544

Median student loan debt in collections: $8,359

4) Minnesota

The sun sets over Shields Lake in Minnesota. The state is one of ten new members of the U.S. Climate Alliance.
Alexander Lamar Photography | Moment | Getty Images
The sun sets over Shields Lake in Minnesota. The state is one of ten new members of the U.S. Climate Alliance.

Share of residents with student loan debt: 20%

Median student loan debt: $17,315

Median student loan debt in collections: $9,492

5) North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota
Sakakawea7 | Getty Images
Bismarck, North Dakota

Share of residents with student loan debt: 20%

Median student loan debt: $16,443

Median student loan debt in collections: $7,746

6) Iowa

Downtown Cedar Rapids skyline with First Avenue Bridge and Cedar River in the foreground.
Davel5957 | Getty Images
Downtown Cedar Rapids skyline with First Avenue Bridge and Cedar River in the foreground.

Share of residents with student loan debt: 20%

Median student loan debt: $15,236

Median student loan debt in collections: $7,778

7) Massachusetts

Quincy Market in Boston.
Ron Dahlquist | Getty Images
Quincy Market in Boston.

Share of residents with student loan debt: 19%

Median student loan debt: $18,487

Median student loan debt in collections: $9,787

8) Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
traveler1116 | Getty Images
Columbus, Ohio

Share of residents with student loan debt: 19%

Median student loan debt: $18,062

Median student loan debt in collections: $8,526

9) Colorado

Aerial view of Fort Collins downtown in sunrise light. Fort Collins, Colorado.
Marek Uliasz | Getty Images
Aerial view of Fort Collins downtown in sunrise light. Fort Collins, Colorado.

Share of residents with student loan debt: 19%

Median student loan debt: $17,667

Median student loan debt in collections: $8,802

10) Maine

Maine Maritime Academy
myLoupe | Universal Images Group | Getty Images
Maine Maritime Academy

Share of residents with student loan debt: 19%

Median student loan debt: $16,701

Median student loan debt in collections: $9,281

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