Skip to comments. The Rise of the Jumbo Student Loan Wall Street Journal ^ | February 16, 2018 | Josh Mitchell Posted on 2/20/2018, 10:02:15 AM by reaganaut1

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The Rise of the Jumbo Student Loan
Wall Street Journal ^ | February 16, 2018 | Josh Mitchell

Posted on 2/20/2018, 10:02:15 AM by reaganaut1

During the housing boom of the 2000s, jumbo mortgages with very large balances became a flashpoint for a brewing crisis. Now, researchers are zeroing in on a related crack but in the student debt market: very large student loans with balances exceeding $50,000.

A study released Friday by the Brookings Institution finds that most borrowers who left school owing at least $50,000 in student loans in 2010 had failed to pay down any of their debt four years later. Instead, their balances had on average risen by 5% as interest accrued on their debt.

As of 2014 there were about 5 million borrowers with such large loan balances, out of 40 million Americans total with student debt. Large-balance borrowers represented 17% of student borrowers leaving college or grad school in 2014, up from 2% of all borrowers in 1990 after adjusting for inflation. Large-balance borrowers now owe 58% of the nation’s $1.4 trillion in outstanding student debt.

“This is comparable to mortgage lending, where a subset of high-income borrowers hold the majority of outstanding balances,” write Adam Looney of Brookings and Constantine Yannelis of New York University.

“A relatively small share of borrowers accounts for the majority of outstanding student-loan dollars, so the outcomes of this small group of individuals has outsized implications for the loan system and for taxpayers,” the authors say.

The problem is particularly acute among borrowers from graduate schools, who don’t face the kinds of federal loan limits faced by undergraduate students. Half of today’s big balance borrowers attended graduate school. The other half went to college only or are parents who helped pay for their children’s education.

(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com

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