March 17, 2020 — Issue Brief

Currently 44 million student loan borrowers owe $1.6 trillion of student loan debt. Over a million federal Direct Loan borrowers entered default in a 12-month period alone. Borrowers in default are disproportionately low-income and people of color. These are the borrowers currently experiencing the brunt of America’s student loan crisis. They are the borrowers most in need of Congress’s help. Any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act must tackle the problems these borrowers face if it is to address the student loan crisis in a meaningful way.