The Best Place to Live to Pay Off Debt in Each State

By Jackie Beck   Updated 11/13/2019 at 3:07 pm

The best city in every state for paying off debt.After crunching the data from 942 U.S. metro areas, we determined the best place to live to pay off debt in each state.

Getting out of debt is easier when you’re not spending a fortune on housing and transportation, and when you have a job making a decent income, so the metro areas in each state were ranked for:

  • housing costs
  • income
  • unemployment levels
  • and the percentage of people who typically either get to work without a car or who work from home

The rankings are based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2017 5-year) estimates for median monthly housing costs, median family income in inflation-adjusted dollars, unemployment status, and means of transportation to work.

With that said, here is the best place to live to pay off debt in each state.

Alaska

Best place: Juneau

Median monthly housing costs: $1443
Median family income: $110,923
Unemployment: 3.5%
Public transit to work: 5.4%
Bicycle to work: 1%
Walk to work: 6.4%
Work from home: 4.2%

Alabama

Best place: Scottsboro

Median monthly housing costs: $555
Median family income: $78,481
Unemployment: 4.2%
Public transit to work: 3.3%
Bicycle to work: 3.5%
Walk to work: 4.3%
Work from home: 5.5%

Arizona

Best place: Show Low

Median monthly housing costs: $533
Median family income: $70,127
Unemployment: 3.0%
Public transit to work: 0.3%
Bicycle to work: 0.8%
Walk to work: 2.9%
Work from home: 3.9%

Arkansas

Best place: Helena-West Helena

Median monthly housing costs: $529
Median family income: $75,967
Unemployment: 2.3%
Public transit to work: 0.4%
Bicycle to work: 1.1%
Walk to work: 4.3%
Work from home: 5.7%

California

Best place: Redding

Median monthly housing costs: $1009
Median family income: $81,779
Unemployment: 2.8%
Public transit to work: 0.9%
Bicycle to work: 0.3%
Walk to work: 4.0%
Work from home: 5.5%

Colorado

Best place: Boulder

Median monthly housing costs: $1424
Median family income: $103,677
Unemployment: 3.6%
Public transit to work: 3.7%
Bicycle to work: 3.6%
Walk to work: 4.2%
Work from home: 9.9%

Connecticut

Best place: Greater Bridgeport area (Fairfield County)

Median monthly housing costs: $1862
Median family income: $109,946
Unemployment: 5.2%
Public transit to work: 5.3%
Bicycle to work: 0.2%
Walk to work: 2.6%
Work from home: 5.8%

Delaware

Best place: Dover

Median monthly housing costs: $1085
Median family income: $66,453
Unemployment: 4.1%
Public transit to work: 0.9%
Bicycle to work: 0.3%
Walk to work: 1.9%
Work from home: 4.7%

Florida

Best place: Port St. Lucie

Median monthly housing costs: $980
Median family income: $80,629
Unemployment: 2.9%
Public transit to work: 0.9%
Bicycle to work: 0.7%
Walk to work: 3.9%
Work from home: 6.5%

Georgia

Best place: Savannah

Median monthly housing costs: $1057
Median family income: $83,084
Unemployment: 2.8%
Public transit to work: 1.4%
Bicycle to work: 2.4%
Walk to work: 4.0%
Work from home: 6.8%

Hawaii

Best place: Kapaʻa

Median monthly housing costs: $1355
Median family income: $85,517
Unemployment: 2.9%
Public transit to work: 0.7%
Bicycle to work: 0.5%
Walk to work: 2.9%
Work from home: 6.1%

Idaho

Best place: Moscow

Median monthly housing costs: $713
Median family income: $66,467
Unemployment: 4.6%
Public transit to work: 0.8%
Bicycle to work: 2.8%
Walk to work: 15.0%
Work from home: 5.0%

Illinois

Best place: Chicago

Median monthly housing costs: $1243
Median family income: $81,266
Unemployment: 5.0%
Public transit to work: 11.9%
Bicycle to work: 0.7%
Walk to work: 3.1%
Work from home: 4.7%

Indiana

Best place: Washington

Median monthly housing costs: $637
Median family income: $113,810
Unemployment: 3.9%
Public transit to work: 13.9%
Bicycle to work: 0.9%
Walk to work: 3.2%
Work from home: 5.1%

Iowa

Best place: Newton

Median monthly housing costs: $790
Median family income: $87,066
Unemployment: 4.4%
Public transit to work: 31.3%
Bicycle to work: 0.6%
Walk to work: 5.8%
Work from home: 4.2%

Kansas

Best place: Lawrence

Median monthly housing costs: $972
Median family income: $80,752
Unemployment: 3.2%
Public transit to work: 2.4%
Bicycle to work: 0.9%
Walk to work: 5.6%
Work from home: 4.3%

Kentucky

Best place: Louisville/Jefferson County

Median monthly housing costs: $877
Median family income: $69,748
Unemployment: 3.9%
Public transit to work: 1.8%
Bicycle to work: 0.2%
Walk to work: 1.6%
Work from home: 3.8%

Louisiana

Best place: New Orleans metro area

Median monthly housing costs: $961
Median family income: $85,674
Unemployment: 5.0%
Public transit to work: 3.8%
Bicycle to work: 0.6%
Walk to work: 3.7%
Work from home: 4.5%

Maine

Best place: Lewiston-Auburn area

Median monthly housing costs: $865
Median family income: $62,699
Unemployment: 3.0%
Public transit to work: 0.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.8%
Walk to work: 2.6%
Work from home: 4.5%

Maryland

Best place: Baltimore

Median monthly housing costs: $1373
Median family income: $94,252
Unemployment: 4.0%
Public transit to work: 5.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.3%
Walk to work: 2.7%
Work from home: 4.6%

Massachusetts

Best place: Greenfield

Median monthly housing costs: $1044
Median family income: $76,112
Unemployment: 3.8%
Public transit to work: 0.8%
Bicycle to work: 0.5%
Walk to work: 5.0%
Work from home: 8.2%

Michigan

Best place: Sault Ste. Marie

Median monthly housing costs: $664
Median family income: $120,885
Unemployment: 3.9%
Public transit to work: 5.0%
Bicycle to work: 1.7%
Walk to work: 1.9%
Work from home: 4.3%

Minnesota

Best place: Austin

Median monthly housing costs: $744
Median family income: $86,307
Unemployment: 3.3%
Public transit to work: 2.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.8%
Walk to work: 1.7%
Work from home: 7.7%

Mississippi

Best place: Oxford

Median monthly housing costs: $872
Median family income: $68,141
Unemployment: 3.4%
Public transit to work: 0.7%
Bicycle to work: 0.9%
Walk to work: 1.7%
Work from home: 3.3%

Missouri

Best place: Sikeston

Median monthly housing costs: $617
Median family income: $74,105
Unemployment: 2.0%
Public transit to work: 0.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.6%
Walk to work: 3.5%
Work from home: 5.8%

Montana

Best place: Bozeman

Median monthly housing costs: $1079
Median family income: $79,430
Unemployment: 3.1%
Public transit to work: 0.3%
Bicycle to work: 2.7%
Walk to work: 6.1%
Work from home: 7.2%

Nebraska

Best place: Lincoln

Median monthly housing costs: $909
Median family income: $75,378
Unemployment: 2.7%
Public transit to work: 1.1%
Bicycle to work: 1.2%
Walk to work: 3.0%
Work from home: 3.3%

Nevada

Best place: Elko

Median monthly housing costs: $904
Median family income: $70,540
Unemployment: 3.2%
Public transit to work: 0.7%
Bicycle to work: 1.0%
Walk to work: 10.8%
Work from home: 5.7%

New Hampshire

Best place: Concord

Median monthly housing costs: $1243
Median family income: $86,170
Unemployment: 2.6%
Public transit to work: 0.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.2%
Walk to work: 2.5%
Work from home: 6.3%

New Jersey

Best place: Ocean City

Median monthly housing costs: $1265
Median family income: $78,624
Unemployment: 4.9%
Public transit to work: 2.3%
Bicycle to work: 2.4%
Walk to work: 5.6%
Work from home: 4.5%

New Mexico

Best place: Portales

Median monthly housing costs: $686
Median family income: $80,687
Unemployment: 4.1%
Public transit to work: 6.4%
Bicycle to work: 2.3%
Walk to work: 3.3%
Work from home: 6.8%

New York

Best place: Ithaca

Median monthly housing costs: $1099
Median family income: $78,504
Unemployment: 2.8%
Public transit to work: 5.7%
Bicycle to work: 1.2%
Walk to work: 11.5%
Work from home: 5.1%

North Carolina

Best place: Burlington

Median monthly housing costs: $799
Median family income: $86,874
Unemployment: 2.9%
Public transit to work: 2.2%
Bicycle to work: 1.4%
Walk to work: 6.3%
Work from home: 5.2%

North Dakota

Best place: Bismarck

Median monthly housing costs: $873
Median family income: $87,140
Unemployment: 1.7%
Public transit to work: 0.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.3%
Walk to work: 1.6%
Work from home: 4.3%

Ohio

Best place: Urbana

Median monthly housing costs: $814
Median family income: $93,367
Unemployment: 2.8%
Public transit to work: 8.5%
Bicycle to work: 1.2%
Walk to work: 5.4%
Work from home: 3.7%

Oklahoma

Best place: Woodward

Median monthly housing costs: $724
Median family income: $70,495
Unemployment: 3.4%
Public transit to work: 0.1%
Bicycle to work: 0.0%
Walk to work: 1.6%
Work from home: 2.4%

Oregon

Best place: Corvallis

Median monthly housing costs: $1018
Median family income: $80,845
Unemployment: 4.0%
Public transit to work: 1.9%
Bicycle to work: 7.9%
Walk to work: 7.2%
Work from home: 7.3%

Pennsylvania

Best place: Sayre

Median monthly housing costs: $701
Median family income: $90,531
Unemployment: 4.3%
Public transit to work: 2.5%
Bicycle to work: 4.0%
Walk to work: 4.9%
Work from home: 8.2%

Rhode Island

Best place: Providence

Median monthly housing costs: $1154
Median family income: $79,347
Unemployment: 4.5%
Public transit to work: 1.8%
Bicycle to work: 0.4%
Walk to work: 3.6%
Work from home: 4.1%

South Carolina

Best place: Spartanburg

Median monthly housing costs: $738
Median family income: $77,866
Unemployment: 2.3%
Public transit to work: 0.7%
Bicycle to work: 0.3%
Walk to work: 2.0%
Work from home: 3.7%

South Dakota

Best place: Brookings

Median monthly housing costs: $778
Median family income: $79,695
Unemployment: 2.4%
Public transit to work: 0.3%
Bicycle to work: 1.3%
Walk to work: 5.7%
Work from home: 5.3%

Tennessee

Best place: Newport

Median monthly housing costs: $500
Median family income: $71,962
Unemployment: 1.6%
Public transit to work: 0.4%
Bicycle to work: 0.6%
Walk to work: 4.6%
Work from home: 6.2%

Texas

Best place: Midland

Median monthly housing costs: $1125
Median family income: $88,950
Unemployment: 2.4%
Public transit to work: 0.4%
Bicycle to work: 0.0%
Walk to work: 0.9%
Work from home: 2.0%

Utah

Best place: Ogden

Median monthly housing costs: $1073
Median family income: $76,999
Unemployment: 2.7%
Public transit to work: 1.1%
Bicycle to work: 0.5%
Walk to work: 1.6%
Work from home: 6.1%

Vermont

Best place: Barre

Median monthly housing costs: $1086
Median family income: $75,610
Unemployment: 2.7%
Public transit to work: 0.6%
Bicycle to work: 0.3%
Walk to work: 5.6%
Work from home: 6.5%

Virginia

Best place: Charlottesville

Median monthly housing costs: $1132
Median family income: $79,882
Unemployment: 2.5%
Public transit to work: 2.4%
Bicycle to work: 0.9%
Walk to work: 4.3%
Work from home: 6.3%

Washington

Best place: Bremerton-Silverdale area

Median monthly housing costs: $1263
Median family income: $81,925
Unemployment: 3.2%
Public transit to work: 4.2%
Bicycle to work: 0.4%
Walk to work: 5.5%
Work from home: 6.8%

West Virginia

Best place: Elkins

Median monthly housing costs: $529
Median family income: $87,061
Unemployment: 3.0%
Public transit to work: 14.3%
Bicycle to work: 0.6%
Walk to work: 6.2%
Work from home: 4.1%

Wisconsin

Best place: Madison

Median monthly housing costs: $1146
Median family income: $87,309
Unemployment: 2.7%
Public transit to work: 4.3%
Bicycle to work: 2.2%
Walk to work: 4.8%
Work from home: 4.5%

Wyoming

Best place: Gillette

Median monthly housing costs: $1120
Median family income: $88,415
Unemployment: 3.4%
Public transit to work: 4.3%
Bicycle to work: 0.1%
Walk to work: 1.7%
Work from home: 3.2%

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One thought on “The Best Place to Live to Pay Off Debt in Each State

  1. This is an interesting round up of results! As a resident of Hawaii, I’m surprised that Kapa’a, Kaua’i was number one since most promising job opportunities are on O’ahu. No matter the island though, the cost of living in Hawaii is HIGH compared to the rest if the US which is why a lot of locals move to the mainland, especially if they’re struggling financially. Thanks for this post! (We also lived in Tacoma, WA so good to know about Bremerton-Silverdale which is a great area.)

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