If you’re facing a mountain of debt in the Space City, then a new study has good news for you — Houston ranks as one of the best cities in the U.S. for paying off debt.
Texas-based financial education site Student Loan Hero conducted the study, which determined how much disposable income typical residents of major cities have after paying for living expenses.
Individuals with more disposable income, Student Loan Hero concludes, have more money to put toward their debt load.
They evaluated 159 American cities, considering average annual wages, tax burdens and the city’s cost of living, as well as the unemployment rate and VantageScore.
Houston cracked the top 3, falling behind Kennewick, Washington, and Durham, North Carolina.
According to Student Loan Hero, Houston’s average annual income is $52,870, giving residents $20,422 in disposable income each year.
Cost of living in the Bayou City is 2.3 percent below the national average, which helps keep more money in residents’ pockets.
“Living in one of the top 20 best cities gives you a disposable income of $18,000 left over, on average, after taxes and basic living expenses are paid,” said Elyssa Kirkham, who led the Student Loan Hero study, according to reports. “That’s a huge boon to residents of these cities who want to get out of debt faster. It gives them a lot of room to play with their budget and find extra money to put toward debt.”
Four other Texas cities made the list: Amarillo came in at number 19; Dallas ranked at number 11; San Antonio took number 8; and Austin slid in at number 5.
In total, Texas cities make up one-fourth of the 20 best cities to pay off debt. Student Loan Hero is based in Austin, Texas.
On the flip side, a study by GOBankingRates revealed Texas ranks third in the country for the highest debt loads, with the average Texan owing $185,583 when all debts — including mortgages, student loans, automobiles, medical debt and credit cards — are taken into consideration.