LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education says fewer Arkansans with federal student loans are defaulting on the loans.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports data released by the agency shows that the default rate of Arkansans who didn't make payments on their student loans within three years of graduating dropped between 2013 and 2014.

Arkansas had 43,606 borrowers who started repayments Oct. 1, 2012, and 6,105, or 14 percent, had defaulted. In 2014, 5,187, or 12.2 percent, of 42,360 borrowers were in default.

At the same time, the nation's default rate increased for the first time in five years. A total of 580,671 of more than 5 million borrowers, or 11.5 percent, were in default in 2014, compared with 11.3 percent, 593,182 of more than 5.2 million borrowers, who defaulted the previous year.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,