New Data Shows Certain Circumstances May Contribute to Student Loan Default

Research examines the incidence of default by personal, financial, and academic characteristics


A survey from The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that approximately one-third of federal undergraduate student loan borrowers reported experiencing default at some point over the past two decades. Among borrowers who experienced default, nearly two-thirds had a loan default more than once. Understanding the circumstances that may make borrowers particularly vulnerable to repayment challenges can help prevent such barriers in the future.

The data in this series provides new insight into the likelihood of default based on borrowers’ personal, financial, and academic characteristics.


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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.