U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that the FY 2007 national student loan cohort default rate increased to 6.7 percent, up from the FY 2006 rate of 5.2 percent.
The rate announced today is a snapshot in time, representing the cohort of borrowers whose first loan repayments came due between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007, and who defaulted before September 30, 2008. Some 3.3 million borrowers entered repayment during this time, and more than 225,300 borrowers went into default. They attended 5,776 participating institutions.
“The economic downturn likely had a significant impact on the borrowers captured in these rates,” Duncan said. “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.”
As a historical comparison, in FY 1990, nearly one in four borrowers defaulted on their federal loans when default rates set an all-time high of 22.4 percent. The rate dropped to record low of 4.5 percent in FY 2003.