Mississippi ranked worst in nation for student debt

Many Southaven residents want their children to grow up, obtain a college education and earn a good income while working a fulfilling career. In today's economy, though, a college education can leave one with significant debt. When this debt is combined with other debt, such as credit card debt or medical expenses, a young adult may become completely overwhelmed. In cases where qualifying debts far outpace one's income, personal bankruptcy may be a solution.

In a recent study, Mississippi was ranked the worst state regarding student debt. According to the Financial Aid Director for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, half of Mississippi's graduating students leave their institution with some form of debt. While some may assume this is an issue affecting only students from four-year universities, the statistic is also true for those coming out of two-year schools. It is also true regardless of whether the institutions are public or private.

Several issues have contributed to Mississippi's student debt load. While tuition is relatively low at state schools compared to those in other states, as a result of this low tuition, Mississippi's students often receive less financial aid. In addition, students and parents may not look ahead and account for the complete costs of college, focusing at first on tuition only. Finally, many students do not graduate on time or may not even finish at all. Even if a student does not graduate, they are still often required to repay the entire amount that they owe.

When student loan debt is mixed with debt from other sources, including unexpected life changes or consumer debt, the results can be disastrous for one's finances. Filing for bankruptcy may provide an avenue for debt relief so that a graduate can devote their income to paying-off student loans and moving forward with a fresh start.

Source: Mississippi News Now, "Mississippi named worst state for student debt," Courtney Ann Jackson, Aug. 6, 2015

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