May 14, 2013, 12:09 PM.

Which States Have Highest Student-Loan Delinquencies?

By Phil Izzo

While student loan debt continues to grow, delinquency rates dropped a bit in the first quarter of 2013, according to new data from the New York Fed.

Total student loan balances rose $20 billion in the first quarter to $986 billion. Meanwhile, the percent of student loans more than 90 days delinquent dropped to 11.2% in the first quarter from 11.7% at the end of last year. But the overall level remains elevated. At the end of 2011, just 8.5% of student loans were more than 90 days past due.

The New York Fed also provides data on the geography of student loans. Interestingly, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the ubiquity of loans for college and delinquency. Midwest states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa have some of the highest percentage of consumers with student loans, but the lowest delinquencies. By contrast, states in the south, such as Florida, West Virginia and South Carolina have a smaller share of people with student loans but more borrowers late with their payments.