Student Loan Payments
Evidence from 4 Million Families
Student loan debt is the fastest growing household debt category, having more than doubled over the last ten years to $1.5 trillion in 2018, second only to mortgage debt, and affecting 45 million borrowers. Although the financial returns from a higher education degree over a lifetime typically exceed the costs, roughly 22 percent of student loan borrowers are in default. A major complication in policymakers’ ability to propose promising solutions is the lack of data on how families—not just individual borrowers—are shouldering the burden of student loan repayment and the impact of student loan debt on other financial outcomes.
With this report, the JPMorgan Chase Institute aims to describe how student loan payments fit into the context of families’ larger financial lives. We offer the debate insight into a new, high-frequency cash flow perspective on student loan payments and how they relate to a family’s income, liquid assets, spending, and other debt payments and seek to answer five key questions:
- How do student loan payments fluctuate with income, liquid assets, and expenditures?