Default Rate Declines, Yet 611,000 Defaulted on Federal Student Loans
Despite Decreases, For-Profit Colleges Account for the Greatest Share of Defaults

September 30, 2015
The Institute for College Access & Success

Federal student loan borrowers’ rates of default three years into repayment are down, show new federal data. Among borrowers who entered repayment in 2012, 11.8% had defaulted on their loans by 2014, a decline from 13.7% for borrowers who entered repayment the prior year. Still, 611,000 borrowers who entered repayment in 2012 defaulted within three years, and the total number of federal loan borrowers in default has risen to 7.5 million. The three-year rates declined across all types of colleges. For-profit college rates declined particularly sharply, though the sector still makes up a disproportionate share of student loan defaults compared to enrollment and accounts for the largest share of all defaults in the cohort (39%).