In 2010, the federal government stopped guaranteeing private student loans and started issuing student loans directly. This policy change was designed to, in some way, help alleviate the student loan crisis. How's that going?

The latest numbers on the direct federal student loans are in, via the Wall Street Journal :

The report indicates that a significant number of borrowers in the new program are unable to repay. Excluding borrowers who don't yet have to make payments because they are still in school or within the grace period, more than a fifth—about 22%—are in default or forbearance, a program that allows borrowers to postpone payments for a period, typically for financial reasons.

Twenty two fucking percent of borrowers are unable to repay. That number attached to this new loan program would be shocking if it wasn't almost exactly the same as the overall default rate for student loan borrowers.

It's almost as if we have a systemic problem that cannot be fixed by changing lenders.

[WSJ. Photo of some unfortunate sucker destined for a lifetime of penury: Getty]