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."