College graduates all over the country are struggling to pay back their student loan debt, which collectively is nearing the $1 trillion mark, exceeding credit card debt for the first time. Some parts of the country, though, have it particularly bad. A new report shows that thirteen states have delinquency rates notably higher than the national average.
As reported by The Huffington Post, 11.7 percent of graduates with outstanding student loan debt are at least 90 days delinquent on their monthly payments. That’s quite a bit lower than the more than 13 percent delinquency rate among thirteen U.S. states:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
What’s important to note, though, is that these delinquency rates are not reflective of just how many people are having trouble making their payments each month. Many are in deferral programs; excluding them from the figures, it’s estimated the nationwide delinquency rate could be as high as 30 percent.
A couple of factors contribute significantly to rising student loan delinquency rates, state-by-state and nationwide. First, the cost of tuition continues to rise as there is no cap on how much students can borrow to pay for school (i.e., no cap on how much colleges can charge). Second, though the recession is behind us, the job market still reflects tough times. There simply are not enough jobs out there with the kind of earning potential college grads need to cover the cost of their education.
How are you, or the grads you know, doing with student loan debt?