When it comes to student debt, it’s really a matter of wealth

Source: Mark Huelsman, Washington Post (Paid Registration)

Ask a group of higher-education policy wonks about the best way to address our nation’s growing student loan problem, and you’re likely to find one solution overlaps party or ideology: Enroll more borrowers in income-driven loan repayment (IDR). For all the bipartisan support and expansion of IDR during the past 10 years, advocates and researchers remain befuddled by a series of questions. In a world in which all borrowers, in theory, can make payments aligned with their income, and in which borrowers below the poverty line could have payments of zero, why has the percentage of borrowers at least 90 days late on payments remained nearly unchanged for six years? Why are there still 8 million borrowers in default on their student loans? Why have we been unable to prevent debt from ruining the lives of a substantial portion of our students of color?

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