Student Loan Default Rates Continue to Rise

Sep 15, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

According to newly released data, default rates on federal student loans continued to climb in 2008, reaching a nine-year high of 6.7 percent, most likely as a result of the recession. The annual cohort default rate, released by the Department of Education on Monday, covers federal student loans that went into repayment between October 2006 and September 2007 and had gone into default by September 2008.

The 2007 cohort default rate was 1.5 percentage points higher than the rate for the previous year, as significant increases took place across the board. Defaults were higher in the bank-based Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program than in the Federal Direct Loans Program, which is typically the case, but the discrepancy between the two grew this year. A total of 7.2 percent of loans in the bank-based system were in default, compared to 4.8 percent of the loans in the Direct Loans program.  he numbers for 2006 were 5.3 and 4.7 percent, respectively.

Much of this discrepancy can be attributed to a higher percentage of students at proprietary schools participating in the FFEL Program, as these schools carried a default rate of 11.1 percent, compared to rates of 6.0 percent and 3.8 percent at public and private colleges. Still, the lower default rate in the direct lending program is likely to be brought up as Congress debates moving all lending from FFEL into Direct Loans.

Default is defined as failure to make payments on a student loan according to the terms of the master promissory note the borrower signed, and federal student loans are considered in default only after several months of missed payments. This means that 6.7 percent of students in this cohort had stopped making payments for 270 days or more within 1-2 years of their first loan payment coming due. It's likely that the cohort default rate numbers released paint an optimistic picture of the number of borrowers currently having trouble making payments on student loans.

New repayment options may help troubled borrowers, though, and several have been introduced in recent months. One is the federal Income-Based Repayment Plan, which allows students to make payments they can afford and forgives all remaining debt after 25 years. Borrowers worried about repayment can also look into loan forgiveness programs offered in exchange for public service, which have been expanded under the Higher Education Act and national service legislation.

The best way for students to avoid the prospect of defaulting on loans is to limit borrowing as much as possible. Put some serious effort into a scholarship search, and consider affordability when doing your college search, as well. Practices such as keeping your options open and landing a scholarship can go a long way towards reducing your loan debt and your risk of being unable to pay once you graduate.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
Comments (0)

Most Shared Articles

The incoming Trump administration could reverse President Obama's actions on college sexual assault, giving hope to those who claim their lives were destroyed by false rape claims. However, this raises concerns for some that perhaps those who have been victims of sexual assault and made legitimate reports may not get the protection they deserve. Since 2011, colleges and universities have been [...]

1 months ago 4 comments Read More

Students are being called to "expose and document" professors "who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda" on a new website called Professor Watchlist. Turning Point USA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 promotes ideas of free-market capitalism and "educates students about the importance of fiscal [...]

1 months ago 7 comments Read More

Finding trustworthy and accurate scholarship and other financial aid information can be tricky these days, especially when it comes to sources that offer unreliable, often misleading content. "Scholarships" offered by scammers who charge fees and operate outside the laws, rules and ethics of modern-day netiquette abound. Here at Scholarships.com, we carefully and thoroughly vet [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

American Flags designated for a Veterans Day ceremony at Brown University were torn and trashed by university students. While a group tried to protect remaining flags, others continued what they believe was a "justified" protest against the recent presidential election. The American flags arranged on Brown University's Main Green flew in honor of the annual Veteran's Day ceremony, which made [...]

1 months ago 16 comments Read More

Black Friday deals will be unleashed in just two weeks with some of the largest retailers getting an early start on Thanksgiving Day. When it comes to end-of-the-year scholarship hunting, no worries - we've got you covered. Score big this holiday season (and semester) with free college money: RMA Foundation [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

The Associate Dean featured as the "chief villain" in a discredited Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia has been awarded $3 million by a federal court jury. This decision followed an earlier ruling that the discredited article ruined her reputation and "undermined her work to help students who had been sexually assaulted." In November 2014, Rolling Stone [...]

1 months ago 6 comments Read More

November is National Scholarship Month and in its honor, we're doing what we do best - offering the best scholarships out there to help students like you fund the cost of college. Whether you're in high school trying to land some free money before heading off to school or a college student looking to pay next semester's tuition, here are some of the few generous scholarships available to [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

Two fans at UW Madison's weekend football game wore costumes depicting Donald Trump lynching President Obama. The school, though stating the costume was "repugnant" and "insensitive," backed the demonstration as free speech, protected under the First Amendment. Critics are now "deeply concerned" with the lack of action. A photo of the costume went viral on social media and police asked the [...]

1 months ago 13 comments Read More

Chicago is a baseball city and naturally, Cubs fans are "losing their minds" as the team makes its way to their home field at Wrigley Stadium for the next three games. Not only could they make history by clinching the World Series Championship - experts believe ticket prices could break the record for the most expensive sales in U.S. sports history. If you have a passion for baseball and [...]

2 months ago 0 comments Read More