New Department of Education figures indicate the number of students struggling to pay back their loans is moderating. For-profit colleges continue to have the highest default rates but saw their numbers improve compared to last year.

Overall, 13.4 percent of student borrowers whose first payments came due in fiscal 2009 had fallen behind by last September, compared to 13.8 percent in the cohort that entered repayment the year before. Default rates within two years were up slightly, from 8.8 percent to 9.1 percent.

The two-year default rate at for-profit colleges remains higher than for other types of schools but fell compared to a year ago. Within three years of entering repayment, 22.7 of students at for-profit colleges had fallen behind, down from 25 percent a year ago.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.