Forty million Americans now owe $1.48 trillion in student debt. Who is borrowing this money? How does it affect other parts of our economy? What kind of public policy solution could get student debt under control?
The challenges of Student Loans
Getting the nation’s student loan problem under control will require expanding financial literacy about the financial costs to student loans, as well as preparation for those who will begin paying their loans once they graduate.
The total value of outstanding student loans is up to $1.5 trillion, larger than either credit card debt or loans for personal vehicles. Almost 40% of adults aged 18 to 29 have student loans, and the number of individuals with outstanding loans has doubled in under fifteen years.
That’s partly due to both rising tuition and an increasing number of students who require financial aid to attend higher learning. But it is also due to the changing nature of the schools those loans are going to pay for. For-profit and two-year schools are an increasing share of where outstanding student loans originate from, and they explain a large portion of more frequent loans and higher delinquency rates.
Know your facts
Forty-four million Americans owed a total of $1.48 trillion in student loans in 2017.
The number of Americans with student loans doubled from 2000 to 2014 and default rates rose to their highest rates in 20 years.
The share of student loans originating from for-profit universities has risen steadily over the last few decades.
Total student loan debt is larger than either credit card of personal auto loans.
One-in-ten student loans are in delinquency, meaning they are either over 90 days behind payment or in default.
Create a plan for your future
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