7 Georgia cities rank high in student loan debt

First the problem: Student loan debt in America is second only to mortgage debt. The debt from trying to go to school is now at $1.5 trillion. And right here in metro Atlanta, we have a very big debt problem.  Wallethub, a finance website, shows that of the 30 cities it puts in the 99th percentile of most over-leveraged cities - seven of them are in Georgia.

Take a look at a state map, starting with the worst debt issue: Waycross, Austell, Dacula, Morrow, Clarkston, Forest Park, and Athens.  And if you look at the ratio of debt to earnings, it ranges from nearly 77 percent in Athens to just more than 81 percent in Waycross.

According to Forbes, by 2023 maybe as many as 40 percent of student loans may go into default. So let's find a solution before that happens.

Wallethub offers a loan calculator. Put in the loan amount, your term, your interest rate and there is your monthly payment. Can you afford that? If not, reconsider that loan.

So, listen, students and would-be students, be sure that you have checked into grants, scholarships and work-study programs in order to supplement the costs.

We've talked about this before - too many young people don't apply for these options. And a lot of money sits there unused. Don't go into thinking, 'Oh, I'm not smart enough, or enough in need.' You will be pleasantly surprised.  

Good luck!