If you are a student planning to fund your higher education through an education loan, be warned. Many who have taken this path before you have defaulted. Non-performing assets (NPAs) within the education loan segment have been rising. According to data from the Indian Banks Association (IBA), NPAs in this segment rose from 7.3 per cent in March 2016 to 7.67 per cent in March 2017. Not repaying the education loan is no longer an option with the advent of credit bureaus. If a student defaults, the records of all the four credit bureaus will reflect it. “The default will affect the person’s credit report and credit score. Access to any sort of credit will be denied. He will have difficulty in getting even a credit card or a personal loan, let alone bigger loans like a car or home loan”, says Manu Sehgal, business development leader, emerging markets, Equifax, a credit bureau.