SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah college students are the most reliable in the nation when it comes to repaying government-backed loans.
A new report by the U.S. Department of Education says 2 percent or about 500 Utah students defaulted on tuition loans in 2007.
South Dakota tied with Utah.
Arizona led the nation for defaults with 9.8 percent of student borrowers skipping out on payments.
Federal officials say the national average for student defaults was 6.7 percent.
Statistics show that rate topped 22 percent in 1990 before beginning a slow decline.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert hails his state's thriftiness and says it shows college is worthwhile.
Utah officials say they help students who fall behind on loan payments to catch up.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)