The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a surge in demand among homebuyers that is only now beginning to show signs of slowing. This historic demand coincided with low borrowing costs, limited housing inventory, and labor and materials bottlenecks that have been hampering new construction. These factors have pushed home values to all time highs, forcing many buyers to take on mortgages that put them deep in debt.

According to a recent report from Experian, a consumer credit reporting company, American homeowners with a mortgage had an average unpaid balance of $229,242 in 2020. Mortgage debt can be impacted by multiple regional factors, and as a result, the amount of debt American homeowners are paying down varies considerably by state.

The average mortgage debt in Kentucky is $143,329 -- the sixth lowest amount of any state. Mortgage debts tend to be lower in places where home values are also low, and in Kentucky, the typical home is worth just $151,700, the fifth lowest median home value of any state.

Home values are typically a reflection of what area residents can afford, and just as home values are low in Kentucky, so too are incomes. The typical household in the state earns $52,295 a year, less than in all but six other states and well below the national median household income of $65,712.

All mortgage debt data used in this story from the 2020 State of Credit Report by Experian, a consumer reporting agency. Average mortgage debt is a measure of the average first mortgage balance per consumer who had an open first mortgage account. Figures for median home value, median household income, homeownership rates, and the share of owner-occupied households with a mortgage came from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey.

 

RankStateAverage mortgage debt ($)Median home value ($)Median household income ($)Homeowners with a mortgage (%)
50West Virginia128,004124,60048,85046.4
49Mississippi135,374128,20045,79249.1
48Indiana140,915156,00057,60365.2
47Ohio142,293157,20058,64262.1
46Arkansas143,066136,20048,95253.0
45Kentucky143,329151,70052,29556.9
44Iowa146,408158,90061,69159.9
43Oklahoma147,538147,00054,44954.4
42Michigan150,482169,60059,58459.3
41Missouri155,203168,00057,40960.2
40Kansas155,277163,20062,08757.9
39Nebraska156,568172,70063,22959.5
38Wisconsin160,116197,20064,16862.7
37Alabama160,341154,00051,73455.3
36Louisiana165,572172,10051,07351.7
35Maine167,615200,50058,92460.5
34Vermont172,919233,20063,00161.7
33South Dakota173,005185,00059,53355.6
32New Mexico174,292180,90051,94552.9
31Pennsylvania175,648192,60063,46359.1
30North Dakota181,930205,40064,57752.1
29South Carolina183,603179,80056,22758.0
28Tennessee184,360191,90056,07158.2
27North Carolina188,520193,20057,34163.2
26Illinois189,808209,10069,18762.4
25Georgia196,030202,50061,98064.2
24Minnesota198,039246,70074,59365.1
23Texas201,084200,40064,03456.1
22Montana206,561253,60057,15355.4
21New Hampshire208,570281,40077,93364.9
20Idaho208,645255,20060,99964.3
19Wyoming208,716235,20065,00359.2
18Delaware210,933261,70070,17665.5
17Florida214,203245,10059,22756.3
16Rhode Island217,019283,00071,16966.3
15Arizona229,332255,90062,05562.4
14Alaska244,840281,20075,46360.8
13Connecticut247,241280,70078,83366.2
12Nevada253,602317,80063,27667.4
11Utah258,635330,30075,78070.1
10Oregon261,147354,60067,05866.1
9Virginia269,570288,80076,45667.7
8New Jersey270,329348,80085,75165.6
7Maryland274,311332,50086,73871.9
6New York274,349338,70072,10859.6
5Massachusetts292,513418,60085,84368.3
4Colorado297,813394,60077,12770.8
3Washington307,407387,60078,68767.7
2Hawaii387,977669,20083,10264.4
1California396,229568,50080,44069.0