Arizona student Loan debt

Student Loan Default Rates

Arizona Completion Rates National Completion Rate Arizona Default Rate National Default Rate
All Schools: 29% All Schools: 55% All Schools: 18% All Schools: 11%
Public: 57% Public: 55% Public: 9% Public: 9%
Private: 52% Private: 64% Private: 5% Private: 7%
For-profit: 23% For-profit: 32% For-profit: 19% For-profit: 19%

Congratulations Arizona, you are the best. You’re the best at being the worst!! I have admit that I borrowed that phrase from an ex-drill sergeant who was reprehending me for something I had done that was incorrect and it has always stuck with me.

This last Monday, the Department of Education released a report which showed Arizona was tied with Alaska for posting the lowest college completion rates in the country in 2013. Only 29% of students who started coursework were able to complete a four-year degree in six years or less. Additionally Arizona students posted the highest student loan default rate in the country at 18%, which is 7 percentage points higher than the national average of 11%.

The numbers are always delayed or backdated a couple of years to account for students who should be in repayment which is why they are reviewing 2013 numbers. State officials were quick to come to the defense of Arizona stating there were numerous factors that may contribute. However it is stated though, the statistics that were released were troubling to say the least.

Federal Trade Commission Investigates University of Phoenix 

In taking a glance at the numbers posted, the one thing that becomes immediately clear is that for-profit schools lead the way in all of the wrong ways. They have the lowest national completion rates and highest default rates, both on a state and national level. In fact, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, recently stated he was concerned about the business practices of for-profit colleges and earlier this week the FTC formally announced they are opening a federal investigation for deceptive or unfair business practices against the largest for-profit college, University of Phoenix.

As one would expect, there are always two sides to every story. University of Phoenix maintains their innocence and has publicly stated they will cooperate with the FTC but will not apologize for creating a learning environment that often caters to the highest risk individuals whom are left behind by traditional educators. There is something to take away in all of this reporting.

One of the biggest takeaways from the studies that have been highlighted in this article is the importance to properly prepare when making the decision to take on student loans in any variety. And when the decision is made to take out a student loan, ensure that you complete your education and receive some sort of tangible takeaway. If you go to a traditional university, get the diploma. If you are seeking a certification from a trade school, don’t leave without completing the program to the end and receiving the certificate. Do all of the due diligence up front to ensure that this is something you want to pursue to the end. Don’t waste future loan payment dollars on a decision that was made without the appropriate due diligence.

Even if You Don’t Graduate, You Still Have to Pay the Student Loan

Student loan payments are still required even if you did not complete a four-year degree or whatever you entered your studies to obtain. The worst thing that can happen is you end up at your aggregate student loan limit by bouncing around from school to school, with no reasonable way to continue to fund you education. You have nothing to show for the $57,500 you have accrued other than a monthly payment the government is going to ensure they get.

Don’t Ignore Your Student Loan Problem

Student loan debt is something that should be taken on with careful consideration. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you already own significant debt obligations, please be aware there are steps that can be taken. With multiple repayment options the government had tried to ease the burden put on those with large student loan debt obligations. But you need to take action and create an overall plan to incorporate student loans into your financial picture. These are the last types of loans you want to ignore because the government will ensure they will get their money back one way or the other. And simply ignoring them or placing them on the last of the line can have dire consequences. But life can go on and it is possible to live your life with student loan payments.

What Can I do If My Student Loans are in Default?

If you are facing having your student loans go into default or are already in default it is important to understand that there are steps you can take that will not only allow you to bring your loans current, but to lower the monthly payment and possibly even eliminate the outstanding balance.

Give us a call and we can provide you with an analysis of your current student loan options and help you implement a plan to get things back on track.