June 3, 2016 – New Mexico college graduates recently lined up to receive their diplomas for a big achievement, but a black cloud may be hanging over some grads – student loan debt.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, New Mexico has the highest national default rate. Recent grads in New Mexico are at a 20.8 percent chance of default on their loan repayment. New Mexico State University in Las Cruses has the highest default rate in the state, 20.5 percent of NMSU grads face defaulting on their repayment.
The national average for student loan default rate is at 11.8 percent, but still N.M. soars above the national average. This rate is according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Many point the blame at New Mexico’s bleak job market as to the reasons why many default on their loans or choose to leave the state to seek career opportunities.
New Mexico In Focus wanted to address this matter with insight from a local financial planner, recent college graduate and a reporter covering higher education in N.M.