New Hampshire Ranks 46th In Nation For Student Loan Defaults

Our Lady of Disgrace / Flickr

Although the price of a degree in New Hampshire continues to go up, residents are better at making their student loan payments than most of the country

Despite recent legislative budget cuts that have forced the state university system to ratchet up tuition–and student debt load–New Hampshire residents are actually pretty good at paying off their government loans.  That’s according to US Department of Education numbers collected by USA Today.  The feds report only 5.07 percent of Granite Staters failed to pay their loans.

That stands in stark contrast to Arizona, which has seen the highest rate of defaults–15.96 percent.  New Hampshire’s situation also differs from the overarching national picture, reported on by several outlets when the Department of Education released figures for FY 2009 earlier this fall.

Justin Pope reported for the Associated Press that:

“The number of borrowers defaulting on federal student loans has jumped sharply, the latest indication that rising college tuition costs, low graduation rates and poor job prospects are getting more and more students over their heads in debt.

The national two-year cohort default rate rose to 8.8 percent last year, from 7 percent in fiscal 2008, according to figures released Monday by the Department of Education.”

And as Dennis Cauchon wrote in USA Today:

“The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year. Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what’s owed on home loans and credit cards.”

Using federal numbers, this week USA Today created a cool interactive map comparing the default rates of different states.  Below the map is an interesting analysis of the ongoing debate about federal loans being used for for-profit colleges.  You can see the map here.  (It’s definitely worth clicking on.)


  • LBonosevich

    Pretty amazing when you consider that NH has some of the highest tuition rates in the country for our Community Colleges, and also poor state funding for State Universities, which again translates to high resident tuition.

    • Amanda Loder

      Hey, thanks for commenting!

      One thing I wondered about reading the report is if this could be a case of who’s coming into NH? From what I understand, a little more than half of NH’s population is transplanted out-of-staters. So maybe people who got cheaper tuition at their home state schools are skewing the numbers? Then there’s the out-migration of younger people, who could potentially be taking their heavier debt into other states. We’ve also got a population that’s about 30 percent Baby Boomers, so if they went onto the 30 year plan, their debt is potentially much smaller–and more easily paid. Of course, there are probably a lot of economists and demographers who would tell me I’m over-simplifying the matter (or am outright wrong!), but it could be an interesting notion to look into…

  • Anonymous

    The high unemployment rate has many students staying in school longer and has many graduates going back to school not just in hopes of landing a better job, but due to the lack of jobs available.

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