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Average student loan debt? $29,000

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According to Department of Education numbers, students in Washington, DC, have the highest federal student loan debt after they graduate, with an average bill of $38,151. (Source: CNN) According to Department of Education numbers, students in Washington, DC, have the highest federal student loan debt after they graduate, with an average bill of $38,151. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Student loan debt is at an all-time high and paying back those loans is not easy, especially when students first graduate.

Here's a look at where students across the nation are being hit hardest.

The Project on Student Debt reports that 71 percent of students had student loans when they finished their undergraduate programs in 2012 and that on average, they are facing $29,400 of debt in both federal and private loans.

And they note, it was an amount that increased by 6 percent every year from 2008 to 2012.

Even if we only look at the numbers for federal student loans and ignore any private loans students might have, there are some hefty bills for students to pay.

According to Department of Education numbers that were reported on credit.com, students in Washington, DC, have the highest federal student loan debt after they graduate, with an average bill of $38,151. Students in Georgia take second place with an average of $29,087 in federal student loans and students in Maryland take third at $27,977.

The researchers at the Project on Student Debt also found that the debt burden varies for students, depending on where they live. Students in the Northeast and Midwest were more likely to have a high levels of student debt and in general, students in states in the Southwest and the West had lower levels of debt.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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