1.1 Million More Americans Defaulted on Federal Student Loans in 2016

3,000 individuals per day defaulted on their student loans

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) students supporters protest a tuition hike

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) students supporters protest a tuition hike / Getty Images

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In 2016, there were 1.1 million more Americans who defaulted on their federal student loans, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to data from the Department of Education, there were more than 3,000 individuals a day who defaulted on their student loans and up until Dec. 31, there were 8 million who owed $137 billion.

Individuals are considered in default if they haven't made payments for roughly nine months after they were supposed to.

The Journal notes that this is happening at a time when unemployment is low and employers are continuing to hire.

"Despite an improving economy, the number of defaults is way too high," Rohit Chopra, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, told the Journal.

In addition to defaulting on loans, the article finds that many of these borrowers haven't found work or earned a degree.

"In total, roughly 42 million Americans owed roughly $1.3 trillion in federal student debt as of Dec. 31," the article states. "Total debt rose by $80 billion last year."

Ali Meyer

Ali Meyer   Email Ali | Full Bio | RSS
Ali Meyer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon covering economic issues that expose government waste, fraud, and abuse. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was a multimedia reporter with CNSNews.com where her work appeared on outlets such as Drudge Report and Fox News. She also interned with the Heritage Foundation and Pacific Research Institute. Her Twitter handle is @DJAliMeyer, and her email address is meyer@freebeacon.com.