JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Right now, student loan debts are at an all time high, with borrowers owing an estimated 1.5 trillion dollars across the United States -- and some students across the Magnolia State are struggling to keep up.
A new report shows that 26 percent of Mississippians who have student loans have been more than 90 days delinquent on their loan payments, and Jackson is at the top of the list.
“I pay a lot for my loans even today,” said Deonica Davis.
Davis graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi over six years ago, and is still drowning in debt.
“About 400 dollars a month is going straight to my student loans," she added.
Davis says because she comes from a low-income family, she didn’t have the funds for college, so her one regret is not speaking up about getting the help she needed.
“I was scared and afraid and embarrassed that I couldn’t pay the big bucks for college, but I wish I would have spoken up," said Davis.
Ann Kendrick, the director of the Get 2 College program, has helped students for years. She says the key to reducing student loans is early counseling.
“Student loans are not bad, sometimes its the only way students can go to college," added Davis. “And Mississippi is not a rich state, a lot of students have to borrow and it is important. That’s where the counseling comes in."
Kendrick says the key to success for students to prepare for college the right way and avoid debt is to get adequate counseling from an adviser early on.