Defaulting on any form of student loan, whether private or federal, is a nightmare. But when it happens with federal loans, Uncle Sam is merciless. Currently, there are 36 million Americans with federal student loans, and a growing number of these borrowers are struggling or unable to pay their monthly balances. Not surprisingly, the Department of Education reported that default rates have risen at an alarming pace in the past few years.
Many borrowers are finding it difficult to keep up with payments for the following reasons:
- High unemployment, especially among recent grads
- A slumping economy