Arizona Student Loan Default Rates Above National Average

By Julian Hernandez
Published: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 4:54pm
Updated: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 8:58am
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The total amount of student loan debt held by Americans reached $1.5 trillion in 2018, making it the second-largest category of consumer debt. While student default rates are on the decline nationally, new data suggests some struggles in Arizona. 

The national student loan default rate in 2016 improved by nearly a percentage point over the year from 10.8% in 2015, according to data released in September by the United States Department of Education, bringing it to its lowest level since the department began publishing the number in 2012.

Arizona’s student loan default rate in 2016 was at 11.45%, a full percentage point higher than the national average.

According to LendEDU, the consumer financial information company, Arizona had 26,844 borrowers with student loans in default, placing it behind Texas and California.

LendEDU found that proprietary schools, for-profits colleges and universities such as trade schools, had a collective student loan default rate of 15.20%. Public schools’ default rates were at 9.60% and nonprofit private schools had the lowest default rates at 6.60%.

While proprietary schools tend to have higher default rates nationally than public schools, several public post-secondary institutions in Arizona had student default rates many percentage points above the national average. Several schools in Arizona showed improvements in default rates between 2014 through 2016, but many remained above the national average.

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