Skip to content
Subscriber Only

We Just Got Some New Data on America's Student Loan Burden

And it shows a whole lot of debt relief

Thanks to a push by President Barack Obama's administration, more and more student-loan borrowers are signing up for income-driven repayment programs, allowing them to pay a fraction of what they would otherwise owe.

That's been making their debt more affordable each month but also longer-lasting (since the balances aren't getting paid down as much or at all and could even increase—although the balances can eventually be forgiven, in some cases after 20 years). The repayment slowdown is filtering into the bond market, where credit graders are now considering downgrades on almost $40 billion of securities tied to government-backed loans because the bonds might not pay off by their promised maturities.