The federal student loan default rate, for the first three years that borrowers are required to make payments, was 14.7 percent as of Sept. 30 -- up from 13.4 percent the year prior, according to new report from the U.S. Education Department. This amounts to about one in seven borrowers and puts defaults at their highest point since 1995.
The rate -- 8.2 percent for nonprofit private schools, 13 percent for public colleges, and 22 percent at for-profit colleges -- covers the three years through Sept. 30, 2012 and does not factor in borrowers who are postponing repayment or who are on federal income-based repayment programs. "The growing number of students who have defaulted on their federal student loans is troubling," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. "The Department will continue to work with institutions and borrowers to ensure that student debt is affordable."