Student Loan Default Rate Rises

Student loan defaults edged up to 6.7 percent last year, from 5.2 percent the previous fiscal year. According to the Department of Education, 225,300 borrowers of the 3.3 million borrowers whose first loan repayments came due between Oct. 1, 2006, and Sept. 30, 2007, defaulted before Sept. 30, 2008. “The department is reaching out to make sure current and prospective student borrowers are aware of the many flexible repayment options designed to assist them with their financial obligations, such as the new Income-Based Repayment Plan,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. Colleges with excessive default rates may become ineligible for federal student aid programs. Historically, default rates have been far higher, with 22.4 percent of borrowers defaulting on their federal loans in the 1990 fiscal year.


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