Guaranteed Student Loans

Legislative and Regulatory Changes Needed To Reduce Default Costs Gao ID: HRD-87-76 September 30, 1987

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined needed legislative and regulatory changes for the Department of Education's Guaranteed Student Loan Program, focusing on: (1) guaranty agencies' loan collection practices and procedures; (2) ways to reduce default costs; (3) the amount of time defaulters have to repay loans; and (4) whether guaranty agencies are promptly remitting Education's share of collections.

GAO found that: (1) new regulations require all guaranty agencies to standardize collection practices and follow specific actions to collect defaulted loans; (2) 1986 legislation should help to reduce defaults and increase collections by requiring guaranty agencies to report repayment patterns to credit bureaus and requiring defaulters to pay reasonable collection costs; (3) the establishment of a National Student Loan Data System should help to further reduce costs by providing means to verify eligibility; (4) Education collected about $38 million in income tax refund offsets from loan defaulters in 1985; (5) new regulations require guaranty agencies to share all default payments made on reinsured loans with Education; and (6) guaranty agencies allow longer repayment periods than Education and have 60 days to remit default collections to Education.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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