Germany was the best value overall, thanks to the nation’s commitment to free higher education for both German and international students.
Colleges in France and Switzerland offer low tuition and, as a result, only a small percentage of students graduate with loans.
In other parts of the world where student debt is a growing problem, some countries, like Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, have instituted a universal income-based repayment system for college graduates.
In Australia, for example, grads don’t pay anything until they earn about $40,000 a year. At that point, they pay between 4 percent and 8 percent of their income, which is automatically deducted from their bank accounts.
“This system makes it virtually impossible to default on your student loans,” Safier said.
The U.K. was the only country in the report with higher tuition costs than the U.S., according to Student Loan Hero. There, the average annual tuition at a public college is over $12,000.
However, the income-based repayment system in the U.K. means borrowers can make low monthly payments and whatever balance remains after 30 years is forgiven.
Of course, the U.S. also has income-based repayment for students who qualify but the plan can be difficult to navigate and, depending on the type of loan, doesn’t always apply.