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Best Places to Borrow Money

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the best counties to borrow money across the country. Click between states and the national map to see data points for each region, or look specifically at one of the three factors driving our analysis: legal protections for debtors, non-housing costs and rent.

Lowest
Highest
Rank County Legal Protections Rating Disposable Income Non-Housing Costs Non-Housing Costs as % of Disposable Income Rent Rent as % of Disposable Income

Methodology Are there better places in the country to borrow money than others? To answer this question SmartAsset gathered data on three important factors that affect borrowers.

First, we looked at ratings from the National Consumer Law Center with respect to legal protections for debtors. This includes protections like preventing wage garnishment or asset seizure. Each state is graded on a scale of 1-5. A 5 rating means the state offers the strongest protections for debtors.

Next, we wanted to find counties where people could most easily manage their debt burden. We calculated the after tax income based on the median household income for each county. We then compared this to two measures of the cost of living: non-housing costs and rent. We looked at each metric as a percentage of disposable income, to get a sense of the average household's purchasing power.

In our final analysis, we ranked each county on these three factors. We then calculated an average ranking for each area, weighting the three factors equally. This index shows the best places to borrow money, with a higher index score indicating a more favorable place for borrowers.

Sources: National Consumer Law Center, MIT Living Wage Study, US Census Bureau 2015 5-Year American Community Survey, SmartAsset