The student loan debt crisis is worsening in ways that go well beyond the size of the debt that has ballooned to more than $1.4 trillion, according to a new report from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).
More than 40% of borrowers leave school owing $20,000 or more, double the percentage from 2002, and the share of borrowers owing $50,000 or more has more than tripled over the same time period, from 5% to 16%.
(Related: How American Families Pay for College: 2017)
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In addition, half of student loan borrowers are over 34 when they start to repay their loans, twice the percentage since 2003, and the share of borrowers who have failed to reduce loan balances after five years in repayment has also doubled, from 16% in 2008 to 30% in 2016.
Those borrowers may be making payments, but they’re not large enough to cover all the interest on their loans. So the interest accrues, leaving them with even more debt than they had when repayment began. The share of those borrowers rose to 12% in 2016, up from 8% in 2008.