LendEdu: Average student-loan debt, payments in R.I., Mass. among highest in U.S.

THE AVERAGE MONTHLY student-loan debt payment in Rhode Island is $217.74, according to a study by LendEdu. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM
THE AVERAGE MONTHLY student-loan debt payment in Rhode Island is $217.74, according to a study by LendEdu. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

PROVIDENCE – If you have student-loan debt in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, your monthly payments are likely to be among the highest in the county – and chances are it will take quite a while to pay off the debt.

According to data released Thursday by New Jersey-based financial firm LendEdu, Massachusetts residents who have student debt are paying on average $229.02 per month to pay it off. That average ranks the most of all 50 states noted in the study that analyzed close to 150,000 such payments. Rhode Island is not far behind at No. 7, with residents paying an average $217.74 per month to rid themselves of student debt.

Rhode Island has the third-highest average student-loan debt in the country, the analysis states, at $36,121, with only fellow New England states Connecticut ($38,776) and New Hampshire ($36,754) have higher such average debt. Massachusetts, with an average student-loan debt of $31,911, ranks the seventh-highest in the United States.

Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts are well above the national averages for monthly payments ($210.73) and overall student-loan debt ($28,565). Additionally, all six New England states each have an average total student-loan debt of at least $31,000, LendEdu said.

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Paying the debt off is also not a quick process. LendEdu said it will take Rhode Islanders an average of 13.82 years to be debt-free from student loans, the fourth-longest in the country. It’s a little faster in Massachusetts to pay off the debt, taking an average of 11.62 years, putting the Bay State No. 28 on LendEdu’s list.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com.

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