President William Dudley offered opening remarks on the latest developments, then Bank economists briefed the press on their analysis of household indebtedness, placing a spotlight on student loans.
Meta Brown, Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw First in a three-part series Student loans have recently attracted a huge amount of attention from the press and policymakers.
Economists have shown that even after we control for talent as more talented people are more likely to attend collegea college degree is still worth it. However, financing a college education is challenging for many families, and student loans remain an important tool.
Student debt has had a remarkable trajectory over the past ten years, as seen in the chart below. Untilstudent loans had been the smallest form of household debt.
During the Great Recession, Americans reduced their other debts but continued to borrow for education, making student debt the largest category of household debt outside of mortgages since Our data indicate that both increased numbers of borrowers and larger balances per borrower are contributing to the rapid expansion in student loans.
The heterogeneity of borrower indebtedness is very pronounced. The increase in student debt has happened among borrowers of all ages. The shares of debt have remained relatively stable, with about one third of the debt being held by borrowers in their 20s, one third by borrowers in their 30s, and the final third by those aged 40 or older.
Several factors have contributed to the higher inflows of student borrowers and student debt. First, more people are attending college. Second, students are staying in college longer and attending graduate school in greater numbers, since loans to finance graduate study have become more readily available.
Fourth, the cost of a college education has continued to grow sharply during the period. In addition to these sources of increased flows of borrowers and balances, the stock of outstanding debt and borrowers is influenced by the slow repayment rate.
But, as we will discuss in subsequent posts in this series, many borrowers are delaying payments through deferments or forbearances.
Increased participation in the Income Based Repayment program and other alternative payment schedules also reduces required payments and lengthens the terms of the loans. Additionally, some borrowers have difficulty making their payments and become delinquent.
Many ultimately default, yet continue to have positive loan balances since discharging student debt is very difficult. While year-old student borrowers were more likely to have a mortgage prior to the Great Recession, the relationship has essentially disappeared since then: The data, presented for the first time here, confirm that the earlier relationship has not reasserted itself.
Additional research, to be released in the near future, strongly suggests that this change is causal: One way that student debt can reduce homeownership is through delinquency and default. If large and increasing numbers of student borrowers default on their loans, the resultant damage to their credit ratings would likely preclude home-secured borrowing in the tight lending environment that has prevailed for the last several years.
Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors. Posted by Blog Author at This paper summarises and responds to Pension Policy Institute (PPI) research commissioned by StepChange Debt Charity analysing the impact on retirement income of creating an accessible savings fund within a pension.
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