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At 9.1 percent, New Jersey’s default rate is 11th in the country, particularly good news given that students tend to carry a heavy debt burden.

Students from New Jersey’s colleges and trade schools default on their federal loans at a relatively low rate overall, although the proportion of defaults exceeds the national average at four of 10 schools.

This news comes as a package of bills designed to help New Jersey students — particularly those who borrowed through the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority — deal with loan repayment problems and the high cost of college in general awaits further action in the Legislature.

Data from the website Student Loan Report put the state’s default rate at nearly 9.1 percent, the 11th lowest in the nation for borrowers who had to begin repayment in the 2013 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data is available because the U.S. Department of Education uses a three-year period to define defaults. Of nearly 90,000 students who borrowed money while at a New Jersey school, 8,153 were in default, defined as nine months of nonpayment.

The national default rate was 11.3 percent, a drop from 11.8 percent the previous year and the third year in a row of declines, from 14.7 percent in 2010. Nationally, more than 5.2 million borrowers entered repayment status in 2013 and nearly 600,000 of them have defaulted.

One reason for the state’s relatively low default rate could be that many students take out New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students loans through HESAA. According to the authority’s 2015 annual report, it distributed more than $163 million for 10,686 students in and out of state that fiscal year. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, New Jersey is one of three states — the others are Texas and Minnesota — with significant state student loan programs.

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