Arizona Student Loans: Debt Stats, Repayment Programs and Refinancing Loans

 August 7, 2021
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Refinance Student Loan rates starting at 1.74% APR

1.74% to 6.52% 1

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1.99% to 5.89% 2

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2.50% to 6.85% 3

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  • Variable APR

Arizonans are among the most indebted federal and private student loan borrowers in the U.S., with an average debt of $34,712 — 5% less than the $36,689 national average. This puts the state 12th for highest average student loan debt, which is considerable given that average annual wages in Arizona are $50,930.

State grants, like the Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AzLEAP), help make higher education more accessible for students with financial need. Those who don’t qualify for the grant or still have a funding gap might be among the 900,000 state residents who turn to private and Arizona student loans to pay for their education.

Arizona student loans: Borrowers owe average of $34,712 in federal, private debt — and more facts

Arizona student debt overview
Average balance $34,712
Total outstanding debt $30.6 billion
Number of borrowers 0.9 million
Average total monthly payment $273
Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.

Students attending college in the Grand Canyon State can lessen their student debt burden by attending one of its many public colleges and universities. There are 21 community college campuses and three four-year public universities to choose from, including:

  • Arizona State University (ASU)
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Arizona

ASU offers five campuses across the state, including in downtown Phoenix and in Tempe. Arizona also has a number of private institutions, including Arizona Christian University and Arizona Culinary Institute.

Residents who attend a regionally or nationally accredited college in the state and who’ve demonstrated financial need can apply for the AzLEAP grant. This grant offers up to $2,500 per academic year, though generally awards average $1,000 an academic year.

Regardless of which postsecondary school Arizonans choose, students might still need to lean on student loans for at least a portion of educational costs during their academic careers.

Student loan debt in Arizona’s largest counties, from Maricopa to Pinal

Student loan debt in most populous Arizona counties
County Average student loan balance Average monthly student loan payment
Maricopa $35,108 $279
Pima $34,947 $265
Pinal $34,195 $229
Note: Limited to counties with a population of at least 300,000 residents; averages include federal and private student loan debt.

Student loan debt by ZIP code in Arizona’s 3 largest cities: Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa

Phoenix, AZ

ZIP code Estimated average student loan balance
Citywide $35,643
85003 $53,772
85004 $53,318
85006 $39,187
85007 $36,972
85008 $35,558
85009 $23,404
85012 $46,442
85013 $47,356
85014 $44,639
85015 $34,440
85016 $47,669
85017 $24,409
85018 $45,753
85019 $25,527
85020 $42,430
85021 $36,058
85022 $36,299
85023 $34,531
85024 $40,529
85027 $32,087
85028 $42,305
85029 $30,165
85031 $23,488
85032 $37,048
85033 $23,477
85034 $34,579
85035 $22,868
85037 $29,660
85040 $29,108
85041 $31,667
85042 $33,545
85043 $30,236
85044 $38,501
85045 $40,359
85048 $40,584
85050 $45,569
85051 $29,383
85053 $31,355
85054 $51,976
85083 $41,832
85085 $39,883
85086 $38,722
Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.

Tucson, AZ

ZIP code Estimated average student loan balance
Citywide $32,259
85701 $46,025
85704 $39,974
85705 $30,421
85706 $23,261
85707 $15,127
85708 $25,498
85710 $30,729
85711 $33,550
85712 $37,681
85713 $25,581
85714 $21,156
85715 $37,171
85716 $39,127
85718 $54,498
85719 $40,501
85723 $16,605
85726 $39,778
85730 $29,929
85735 $30,240
85736 $26,263
85737 $42,680
85739 $33,740
85741 $33,914
85742 $35,098
85743 $37,722
85745 $37,871
85746 $26,149
85747 $35,157
85748 $34,643
85749 $40,345
85750 $47,932
85755 $43,710
85756 $27,930
85757 $28,447
Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.

Mesa, AZ

ZIP code Estimated average student loan balance
Citywide $32,851
85201 $33,233
85202 $33,431
85203 $33,164
85204 $30,017
85205 $35,482
85206 $34,392
85207 $33,379
85208 $30,495
85209 $34,906
85210 $31,434
85212 $36,366
85213 $38,371
85215 $38,806
Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.

Loan repayment programs for Arizona residents

After graduating from college, eligible Arizona residents might have a chance to reduce their student loan debt through one of the state’s loan repayment programs.

Arizona Department of Health Services Loan Repayment Programs

The Arizona Department of Health Services offers two loan assistance programs for health care providers:

  • Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (PCPLRP). Borrowers must work with a public or private nonprofit employer serving in an identified health professional shortage area (HPSA) within Arizona.
  • Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (RPPCPLRP). Health providers must be employed with a rural private primary care practice in an HPSA or a described underserved area in the state.

Both programs require applicants to be fully licensed to practice a qualified discipline in the state. Borrowers are required to contract full time (minimum 40 hours per week) or half time (minimum 20 hours per week) for at least two years. Award amounts vary, depending on provider type, full-time or half-time status, service year and fund availability.

Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program

The Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program was created to incentivize students to pursue a career in public education. It offers a maximum loan forgiveness award of $7,000 per academic year for up to three years to students who’ve been Arizona residents for at least the previous 12 months.

In exchange, eligible students must agree to work in an Arizona public school for the number of years an award was received, plus an additional year. So, for example, if a student received the loan for the maximum three years, they would need to work for four years.

NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

The NURSE Corps LRP was designed to attract and retain registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice nurses (such as clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners) in Arizona. For at least two years of contracted service at an HPSA or accredited eligible nursing school, recipients can have 60% of their qualifying nursing student loans repaid (30% each service year).

If recipients choose to serve a third year, they’ll receive another 25% of their remaining eligible loan balance paid through the program.

Arizona federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe less than national average — and more comparisons

How to refinance Arizona student loans

More than 7% of Arizona borrowers (nearly 64,000 borrowers in the state) owe $100,000 or more in student loans. For those with high student loan balances — and at high interest rates — student loan refinancing might help.

High student loan rates can make debt repayment exponentially costly. A student loan refinance can help simplify loan repayment, while also potentially lowering the amount borrowers need to repay overall.

During this process, borrowers can shop around for a student loan refinance to find competitive interest rates from various lenders. Once a lender is chosen, they’ll repay the borrowers’ original student loans. Borrowers are then left to repay the new refinanced loan with, ideally, a lower interest rate and new terms.

Borrowers can use a private student loan refinance to consolidate existing federal and private student loans. A caveat, however, exists when refinancing federal loans. In doing so, borrowers effectively lose government benefits, such as income-driven repayment options and access to loan forgiveness programs, like Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

And although some private lenders offer deferment or forbearance options, they’re not nearly as robust as federal protections that are a lifeline in financial hardship.


  • U.S. Department of Education data as of June 30, 2020
  • Anonymized My LendingTree June 2020 credit reports
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax as of June 2020

Because the latter data is from 2015, researchers estimated the increase in student loan debt per borrower in the state using statewide data from anonymized credit reports.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.74% – 6.52%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.99% – 5.89%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.50% – 6.85%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.89% – 5.90%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.74% – 7.24%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.90% – 5.25%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

1.88% – 5.64%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit NaviRefi

1.86% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

2.13% – 5.25%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit PenFed

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of January 19, 2022.

2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

Interest Rate Disclosure

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.69% APR to 6.04% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 5.89% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, and using the daily interest rate based on actual days in the year and rounding up, plus a margin and will change on the 1st of each month. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX.

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.

4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.


This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.

5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates range from 2.49% APR to 7.59% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 11/15/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

7 Important Disclosures for Navient.

Navient Disclosures

1. NaviRefi loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC, a member of the Navient family of companies, subject to individual approval and underwriting criteria. California residents only: Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license. Additional terms and conditions apply.

– To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or non-citizen permanent resident of the United States, reside in a state we lend in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Loan terms are subject to eligibility. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application. Loan approval is subject to confirmation that your debt-to-income, free cash flow, credit history and application information meet the minimum requirements. You must have a minimum FICO score to be considered.

– You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 2.75% – 6.04% APR (2.50% – 5.79% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.13% – 5.89% APR (1.88% – 5.64% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.

– You can take advantage of the 0.25% Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. NaviRefi rate ranges are current as of June 1, 2021 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

– Loan cost examples: These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,250. Your actual repayment terms may vary.

– The information provided on this page is updated as of 06/1/2021. Earnest Operations LLC reserves the right to modify or discontinue (in whole or in part) this loan program and its associated services and benefits at any time without notice. Check for the most up-to-date information. Terms and Conditions apply. Call 855-284-4893 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

– Earnest Operations LLC – NMLS #1204917, CA CFL #6054788 – 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105.
Navient Solutions, LLC – NMLS #212430 – 123 Justison St., Wilmington, DE 19801. Visit for a full list of licensed states.

8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

PenFed Disclosures

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.