More recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City also shows higher student loan delinquencies in the state.
About 15.2 percent of student loans were delinquent in Oklahoma in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to 9.7 percent nationally, according to consumer credit data from the Federal Reserve Bank.
Some try bankruptcy
Although loans can't typically be discharged through bankruptcy, many people file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to help ease the burden of student loan debt, said Patrick Moore, an Oklahoma City bankruptcy attorney.
Debtors who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can get monthly payments reduced through a court-approved repayment plan while they get their finances in order, Moore said.
“Student loans are really going to be the new upcoming problem. I've seen a definite increase in people who have a large amount of student loan debt,” Moore said.
Cristy Cash, director of counseling for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma, said the nonprofit agency has seen a growing number of people seek its services because of student loan debt.
The problem of student loan debt can also be compounded with credit card debt and other financial problems, she said.
“We see more and more people come in with problems with student loan debt because they can't afford their repayment plan,” Cash said.
Ready, set, repay
The Oklahoma College Assistance Program, a division of the State Regents for Higher Education, launched a new website, readysetrepay.org, this month to help borrowers manage their student loan debt. The website includes information on repayment options for borrowers as well as loan consolidation and estimating loan repayments.