Diplomas to Doorsteps: Education, Student Debt, and Homeownership
Evidence overwhelmingly shows that the average earnings premium to having a college education is high and has risen over the past several decades, in part because of a decline in real average earnings for those without a college degree. In addition to high private returns, there are substantial social returns to having a well-educated citizenry and workforce. A new development that may have important longer-term implications for education investment and for the broader economy is a significant change in the financing of higher education. State funding has declined markedly over the past two ...
Trends in Debt Concentration in the United States By Income
Household debt in the United States expanded before the Great Recession, contracted afterward, and has been recovering since 2013. But how has the distribution of debt across different income groups evolved over time? Who has been driving the recovery of household debt over the past two years? To date, there has been little work on how borrowing patterns for high- and low-income individuals have changed over time, although one notable exception is Amromin and McGranahan. Here, using the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a quarterly panel data set based on Equifax credit reports, we ...
Student Loans: A Primer
On average, higher education is a great investment: The average person with a four-year degree earns substantially more than the average high school graduate, and the cost of that degree is well below the financial benefits that are derived. However, borrowing to pay for education has risen dramatically in recent years, with outstanding student debt recently passing $1 trillion, which is almost four times the debt incurred in 2004. Today, an increasingly large number of borrowers are unable to make their student loan payments,4 which raises concerns about what this means for individuals and ...
What Explains the Post–2011 Trends of Longer Maturities and Rising Default Rates on Auto Loans?
This paper quantifies relationships of long-term auto borrowing and auto-loan default to observable borrower characteristics and economic variables. We also quantify the residual components of the trends in long-term borrowing and delinquency not attributable to identifiable factors. Second, our paper provides new evidence on the relationship between longer-term borrowing and auto-loan default risk. We find that observable factors associated with the choice of a long loan term usually indicate an increased risk of default. We also find that the increasing share of long-term loans and the ...
Debt Relief and the CARES Act: Which Borrowers Face the Most Financial Strain?
In yesterday's post, we studied the expected debt relief from the CARES Act on mortgagors and student debt borrowers. We now turn our attention to the 63 percent of American borrowers who do not have a mortgage or student loan. These borrowers will not directly benefit from the loan forbearance provisions of the CARES Act, although they may be able to receive some types of leniency that many lenders have voluntarily provided. We ask who these borrowers are, by age, geography, race and income, and how does their financial health compare with other borrowers.
The Potential Impact of Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness in the Fifth District
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program offers government and nonprofit workers relief from outstanding federal loans after 10 years of employment. In October 2021, the Department of Education temporarily waived certain requirements, making many public service workers retroactively eligible for loan relief. This waiver expires on Oct. 31, 2022, creating a risk that many eligible beneficiaries will not access benefits. The program may be especially important in the Fifth District, which has a higher share of public service workers than the U.S. as a whole.
Understanding the Evolution of Student Loan Balances and Repayment Behavior: Do Institution Type and Degree Matter?
Student loan balances and delinquency rates have soared to unprecedented levels in recent years, forming what many commentators have termed a “student loan bubble” and creating a major public policy issue. Given the importance of student loans for human capital formation and economic growth, understanding student loans and repayment behavior is essential from a policy perspective. Yet research in this area has been limited. The authors seek to fill the gap by examining student loan performance over time by institution type and degree program. Using detailed data collected as part of ...
Payback Time? Measuring Progress on Student Debt Repayment
Student debt continues to make headlines because of its high balances and high rates of delinquency and default?troubling issues that we discussed in our previous posts this week. A less prominent, but still important, issue is the pace at which former students are?or are not?paying off their debts. This issue is important to borrowers because the longer they take to repay their debts, the more interest they accrue, the longer they have to worry about making payments, and the longer they have to deal with the consequences of unpaid debts. It?s also important to the macroeconomy because longer ...
Capital for Communities: Financing Human Capital Through Income Share Agreements
Outstanding federal student loan balances in the U.S. exceed $1.2 trillion, and many believe rising student loan delinquencies represent an emerging crisis for students and the broader economy. Income share agreements (ISAs) have been identified as a new potential source for financing higher education, making important investments in human capital improvements while limiting some of the debt burden placed on students. This article will explore why some believe that alternatives to traditional student loans are needed and will also examine the promising solutions ISAs could bring to students ...
Federal Student Loan Servicing Accountability and Incentives in Contracts
Student loan servicers play a critical and underappreciated role in federal student oan programs. The federal government contracts out to servicers an array of many of the most critical functions related to student loan repayment, including account management, payment processing, and the provision of information about payment plans and solutions for distressed borrowers. In fact, most borrowers’ interactions with federal student loan repayment are almost exclusively with their servicer. We aim to improve upon the scarce research literature about federal student loan servicers by exploring ...