Student debt is a form of debt that is owed by an attending, withdrawn, or graduated student to a lending institution. The lending is often of a student loan, but debts may be owed to the school if the student has dropped classes and withdrawn from the school. Withdrawing from a school, especially if a low- or no-income student has withdrawn with a failing grade, could deprive the student of the ability of further attendance by disqualifying the student of necessary financial aid. Student loans also differ in many countries in the strict laws regulating renegotiating and bankruptcy. Due payments may be a retroactive penalty for services rendered by the school to the individual, including room and board.
As with most other types of debt, student debt may be considered defaulted after a given period of non-response to requests by the school or the lender for information, payment or negotiation. At that point, the debt is turned over to a Student Loan Guarantor or a collection agency.
In the United States of America, the “Congress created a rule called the ‘Cohort Default rate’. Annually the Department of Education evaluates the proportions of students who have received student loans and have withdrawn from a college, and have a defaulted on their federal government backed loans.” If that nonpayment (default) rate is too high, the college will be refused the privilege of having government financial aid available to their students. According to Adam Looney, and Constantine Yannelis with the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, in 2011, “borrowers at for-profit and 2-year institutions represented almost half of student-loan borrowers leaving school and starting to repay loans, and accounted for 70 percent of student loan defaults.” This rule was an instantaneous achievement, ‘there were more than fifteen hundred for profit colleges were pushed out of the system’. Colleges have to change their funding habits to get in line with the government guidelines. Many colleges are continuously forced to lower their nonpayment rates, down.” The number of defaulters has not changed, it is just the way the government tracks them.

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