LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) When it comes to repaying student loans, the odds seem stacked against you. Student debt in the US tops $1.5 trillion and studies show that for Millenials, that debt can destroy up to 75% of their net worth.”
“A lot of people are scared about the interest that accrues while you’re in school,” UW-La Crosse sophomore Laccen Comstock said.
However, some students at UW-La Crosse said despite those odds, they’re still confident.
“I’m not too nervous about it because of how self-explanatory it is to set up those loans and set up repayments for them,” Comstock said.
That financial confidence is showing. UW-La Crosse was recently ranked 13th in the nation when it comes to paying back student loans and has the lowest default rate (1.6%) of the entire UW system. The national default rate for student loans is just over 11% in public universities.
Terry Micks works in UWL’s financial aid office and said the education and outreach they do helps set more students up for success.
“Just because someone’s graduated or left doesn’t mean we forget about them,” Micks said. “So we keep track of the students who might be delinquent on their student loans and we reach out to them every couple of months and send them letters and e-mails just reminding them, hey you need to reach out to your servicer or if we can help, let us know.”
Their program “It Make$ Cents” works year-round to help students become more financially literate before leaving school.
“They’re not going into loan repayment without knowing what’s coming,” Micks said.
Their biggest piece of advice is also one of the simplest.
“Only take what you need,” Comstock said. “Get on top of it right away.”
With financial aid’s help, the vast majority of UW-La Crosse students are doing just that.