The key indicator for affordability was how much of a borrower’s monthly income would go towards their student loan payments and monthly housing costs.
In the cities that topped our ranking for the most affordable cities for recent grads — Dallas, Jacksonville, and Houston — borrowers have more of their income left over after paying their monthly loan and housing bills as compared to the other cities on the list.
But even in these cities, nearly 27 percent of borrowers’ average monthly income is eaten up by their monthly housing payment and their monthly loan payment alone. That doesn’t even take into account other expenses such as taxes, food, or transportation.
That’s not all that different from the cities at the very bottom of our list — San Jose, Fort Worth, and Boston — where more than 30 percent of borrowers’ average monthly income is dedicated to loan and housing payments.
The following are the average monthly loan payment, monthly housing payment, and annual income for the nearly 9,000 borrowers in the cities we analyzed: