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Over 41 million Americans now owe more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding federal student loan debt. Policymakers are considering a number of amendments related to federal student aid programs in the context of the Higher Education Act reauthorization. In addition to providing a snapshot of key data related to student loan debt that all policymakers should consider, this brief discusses recommendations for facilitating repayment and curbing defaults on student loans, including: protecting students from low-performing institutions; encouraging use of forbearance and deferment mechanisms; and strengthening income-driven repayment options.
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Perna, Laura W.; Kvaal, James; and Ruiz, Roman, "An Updated Look at Student Loan Debt Repayment and Default" (2017). Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative. 46.