Dealing with debt: 1992-93 Bachelor's degree recipients 10 years later. Postsecondary education descriptive analysis report (NCES 2006-156)
Using data from the 1993–2003 Baccalaureate and Beyond Study (B&B:93/03), this report describes the borrowing patterns of 1992–93 bachelor’s degree recipients and examines the repayment of undergraduate Stafford loans for those who had no additional degree enrollment. About half (51 percent) of all graduates had borrowed to help pay for their undergraduate education, borrowing an average of $10,200 from all sources. Among graduates with no additional degree enrollment, 74 percent had repaid all their undergraduate loans by 2003. Of the 26 percent still repaying their loans, the median debt burden (monthly payment divided by monthly income) in 2003 was 3.3 percent. Among bachelor’s degree recipients with no further degree enrollment, 39 percent had taken out Stafford loans as undergraduates. Among these Stafford loan borrowers, 5 percent ever had a deferment, 12 percent ever had a period of forbearance, and 10 percent had defaulted at some point. Students did not tend to run into repayment problems immediately; the average length of time between graduation and the first deferment, forbearance, or default was 4–5 years. For many, the problems were temporary, with 45 percent of defaulters able to re-enter repayment later. In addition, most of those who deferred or had periods of repayment were able to recover financially and did not default.