The share of student loan borrowers owing more than $20,000 has doubled

August 17, 2017 | | Market Watch |

The share of student loan borrowers who entered repayment owing $20,000 or more doubled — from 20% to 40% — between 2002 and 2014, according to a report published Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. What’s more, the share of borrowers entering repayment with $50,000 or more in debt tripled during the same period, the CFPB report found, jumping from 5% to 16%.

Those figures are stark, especially given stagnant wage growth in recent years. Borrowers leaving college now are making essentially the same amount as those 10 or 15 years ago, but they have more debt, it’s going to be harder for them to repay it, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a progressive think tank.