The state agency that guarantees student loans says it was able to get a record 696 defaulted loans back on track in the last year. Iowa College Student Aid Commission executive director Gary Nichols says those loans were all “rehabilitated.” He says that means the loans are sold back to commercial lenders, students start making payments again, and get their credit record cleaned up. He says it’s not only a benefit to the student, but it helps save the state money. He says it’s good for the taxpayers because the students start paying the loans again. Nichols says students are required to sign a contract that they’ll agree to make 12 straight payments to gain the rehabilitation status that leads to a clean credit record. He says once they’ve made 12 on-time payments, it has been proven that most of the students will go on to pay off the entire loan. Nichols says the students aren’t getting away with anything by defaulting and then being rehabilitated. He says most students don’t default because they’re trying to avoid their responsibility, they default because they don’t have the means to pay. Nichols says only about seven percent of the students who take out loans default on them. He says the student aid commission is usually able to rehabilitate half of those defaulted loans. He says that’s pretty good for high risk loans to people who’re borrowing with the promise of getting an education and job. He says the low number of loans that end up in default is very good. The rehabilitated loans totaled more than six-point-two million dollars.
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