One of the great features of living in the U.S. is the uniqueness of each state, and the freedom Americans enjoy in choosing, in many cases, to live in the state that suits their individual needs.
That goes double for Americans who are particularly prudent with their household budgets, and who opt to live in a state where the cost of living is relatively low, and where buying a home doesn’t mean years of sacrificing a good quality of life in order to pay off an exorbitant home mortgage.
To each his or her own, right? The good news is there are plenty of U.S. states where home prices are low and where mortgage debt is a much smaller slice of the household budget than in high cost-of-living states.
Case in point. Experian, in its benchmark “State of Credit: 2017” Report has marked up the U.S. states where mortgage debt is highest and where mortgage debt is lowest, and the disparity is something to see.
For example, West Virginia tops the list of states where mortgage debt is lowest (at an average of $114,583.) Compare that figure to California, where Golden State residents hold, on average, $347,652 in mortgage debt.
While the quality of life is indeed in the eyes of the beholder, there’s certainly something to be said for keeping mortgage debt as low as possible. For a variety of reasons, the following 17 states are the lowest for average home mortgages.
States with the Lowest Mortgage Debts
The Volunteer State holds a lower-than-average mortgage debt of $150,456 in 2017, compared to $145,017 in 2016. That figure easily keeps Tennessee in the lower tier of U.S. States when it comes to having low mortgage debt.
Bayou State homeowners have seen a whopping 30.65% hike in average mortgage debt from 2007 to 2017, but things seem to be leveling off. In 2017, the state’s average mortgage debt stood at $149,294—only a small hike over 2016.
Homeowners in Maine hold, on average, $148,662 in household mortgage debt as of the end of 2017, up from $145,243. Taking a longer view, Maine, experienced a decrease in average mortgage debt (by -34.96%.) from 2007 to 2017. Compare that figure to its neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, where mortgage debt rose from $126,000 to $253,000 over the same time period.
Badger State residents also enjoy a relatively low average mortgage debt, of $142,993. That’s only up from $141,403 in 2016, making Wisconsin one of the top-listed states in the lowest average mortgage debt movement from 2016 to 2017, at .81%.
At $140,963, Alabama is on the list of states with the lowest average mortgage debt in 2018, as listed by Experian. But with a rising average mortgage debt rate of 5.18% from 2016 to 2917, Alabama could be “roll-tide rolling” its way off the list next year.
Homeowners in Kansas have an average mortgage debt of $137,869, one of the lowest figures in the nation. But watch out, its average mortgage debt increase of over 11% from 2016 to 2017 could knock Kansas off this list in 2019.
The Show-Me State posts an average mortgage debt level of $137,723 and is thus sandwiched by neighbors Nebraska and Kansas on the Experian list. Ironically, all three states achieved the exact same rankings on the Experian list in 2017.
At an average of $136,882, Cornhusker State homeowners aren’t saddled with budget-straining mortgage debt—yet. If 2017 is any indication, the state’s mortgage debt average hike of 8.93% bears watching on next year’s list.
Homeowners in Michigan can point to a long-term trend where average mortgage rates have been relatively low, over a long period of time. From 2007 to 2017, Michigan homeowners have, on average, seen their mortgage debt decline by 17.91%, second only to Maine.
The Boomer Sooner State is another locale where average mortgage rates have shot up over the long haul. From 2007 to 2017, Oklahoma saw its average mortgage rate figure skyrocket by 29.44%. Yet in 2017, the state’s mortgage rate average locked in at a paltry $130,700, up only $2,881 from $127,819 in mortgage debt in 2016.
Iowa is also seeing low average mortgage rates—at an average of $130,242 in 2017. That’s up slightly from 2016’s figure—at $127,495.
The Buckeye State has one of the lowest mortgage debt figures in the U.S., at $129,106. With a low debt figure of $126,746 in 2016, Ohio remains in the exact same spot in Experian’s rankings this year.
The Razorback State is also on the low end of U.S. states when it comes to low mortgage debt rates. At $126,481, Arkansas ranks in the “top five” lowest states for mortgage debt.
Kentucky moves down one slot in the Experian state-by-state mortgage rankings this year, which is a good thing when the list ranks average state mortgage debt from a highest to lowest model. Kentucky homeowners, on average, hold $126,446 in home mortgage debt.
The Hoosier State breaks into the “top three” listing of U.S. states with the lowest average mortgage debt, at $122,791. It held the exact same spot in 2017.
Mississippi ranks second on Experian’s list of lowest mortgage owed across the U.S. On average, statewide homeowners only owe $120,301 on their homes.
1. West Virginia
The bell cow for U.S. states with the lowest mortgage debt, the Mountain State clocks in at a 50-state low of $114,583 in average mortgage debt. The needle has barely moved on the mortgage debt from for West Virginia homeowners, who held $113,436, on average, in mortgage debt the year before, according to Experian.
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Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.59% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for Navient.
4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.74% APR to 6.74% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.39% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.