Borrowers with large balances: rising student debt and falling repayment rates

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Author: Looney, Adam; Yannelis, Constantine


We examine the distribution of student loan balances and repayment rates in the United States using administrative student loan data. We show that increases in credit limits and expansions in credit availability resulted in rising borrowing amounts, and that the share of borrowers holding very large balances has surged. For instance, the share of borrowers leaving school with more than $50,000 of federal student debt increased from 2 per cent in 1992 to 17 per cent in 2014. Consequently, a small share of borrowers now owes the majority of loan dollars in the United States. Although these...  [+] Show more

Subjects: Students; Finance; Participation; Outcomes

Keywords: Graduates; Analysis; Economics of education and training

Geographic subjects: North America; United States

Published: Washington, District of Columbia: The Brookings Institution, 2018

Physical description: 31 p.

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Resource type: Report

Call number: TD/TNC 131.855

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