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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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.36% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.41% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate 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 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
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.
4 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.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). 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 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.41% – 6.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 7.89%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.38% – 6.81%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 8.19%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.60% – 9.60%6||Undergrad & Graduate|