Parent and Supplemental Student Loans:

Volume and Default Trends for Fiscal Years 1989 to 1991

HRD-92-138FS: Published: Sep 22, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information about the Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) programs, focusing on the: (1) volume of loans for students attending trade schools and other postsecondary education institutions; (2) extent of borrowing for freshmen, compared to such borrowing for students in their second or subsequent years of schooling; and (3) amount of defaulted loans.

GAO found that: (1) 11 guaranty agencies guaranteed nearly $1.7 billion in PLUS loans and $3.7 billion in SLS loans between fiscal years (FY) 1989 and 1991; (2) in 1991, agencies guaranteed $550 million in PLUS loans for parents of students attending nonproprietary schools, with a large increase in loans to parents of nonfreshmen; (3) in 1991, agencies guaranteed $126 million in PLUS loans for parents of proprietary school students, most of whom were freshmen; (4) in 1991, agencies guaranteed $330 million in SLS loans for proprietary school students and $830 million for nonproprietary school students; (5) new defaults, which increased each year during FY 1989 through 1991, totalled almost $109 million for PLUS loans and $1.4 billion for SLS loans; (6) PLUS loan default volume increased the greatest among parents of nonfreshmen students at nonproprietary schools; and (7) proprietary school borrowers accounted for 83 percent of total SLS loan default volume between FY 1989 and 1991.

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