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When considering dividend stocks, company debt should always be part of your analysis. Because debtholders are always paid before shareholder dividends, debt represents a wedge between firm value and the firm’s value to shareholders.

We ran a screen on dividend stocks with low beta (indicating lower volatility than the overall market) for those with low debt, measured by most recent quarter total debt to assets below 0.5.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

[Click here to enlarge]

Do you think these stocks pay reliable dividends? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by dividend yield.

1. S&T Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:STBA): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $477.58M. Beta at 0.49. Dividend yield at 3.53%, payout ratio at 31.54%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.04. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.36% (equivalent to 24.82 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 9.44% below its SMA20, 8.8% below its SMA50, and 19% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 10.23% over the last week.

2. WesBanco Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBC): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $472.15M. Beta at 0.49. Dividend yield at 3.39%, payout ratio at 33.52%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.06. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 12.58% below its SMA20, 11.49% below its SMA50, and 10.35% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 13.47% over the last week.

3. Lakeland Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:LKFN): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $339.55M. Beta at 0.32. Dividend yield at 2.97%, payout ratio at 31.31%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.06. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.62% over the last week.

4. Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $3.12B. Beta at 0.46. Dividend yield at 2.57%, payout ratio at 29.05%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.07. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 13.75% below its SMA20, 14.13% below its SMA50, and 11.04% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 12.58% over the last week.

5. RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI): Property & Casualty Insurance Industry. Market cap of $1.19B. Beta at 0.41. Dividend yield at 2.13%, payout ratio at 13.34%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.04. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.37% (equivalent to 20.02 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.77% over the last week.

*Dividend and total debt to assets data sourced from Screener.co, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 5 Low-Debt, Low-Beta Dividend Stocks