The mountain of U.S. student loan debt is getting taller and taller, and more and more students are falling behind in their payments, according to a recent study.
The number of students who are at least 90 days late on student loan payments has increased to 11.7 percent, up from 8.5 percent in 2011, according to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. When you don't include people who have deferred payments through various programs, delinquency rates may actually be as high as 30 percent, according to an separate study by the New York Fed.
There is a significant gap between states with the highest average student loan delinquency rates and those with the lowest. While South Dakota has a delinquency rate of just over 6.5 percent, West Virginia's is approaching three times that. Another 12 states have delinquency rates over 13 percent.
U.S. students face a total of $986 billion combined debt, a growing problem that now threatens to create a significant drag on the economic recovery. And that debt is wreaking major havoc on young adults, who already face low employment, causing their debt burdens to be even more inescapable. Partly as a result, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called on Congress to lower the interest rate on education debt.
Here are 13 states where student loan delinquency rates are higher than 13 percent, as of Dec. 31 2012: