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Special Report cover on Student Loan Debt Trends in the District of Columbia, 2008-2018

Student loan debt is a growing burden for many residents of the District of Columbia, especially for lower-income borrowers.

Student Loan Debt Trends in the District of Columbia, 2008-2018

This report examines whether trends in educational attainment among District of Columbia residents align with different student loan outcomes between neighborhoods and borrower segments. Using data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax (CCP) for adults aged 25 and older, this report presents data for five indicators of student loan debt followed by discussions that highlight notable findings. Together, the results reveal the following:

  • A median student loan borrower in D.C. carries more debt than the median borrower in the U.S. overall.
  • Although individuals in low- and moderate-income D.C. neighborhoods have the lowest median student loan debt loads in the District, their student loan debt is rising faster and comprises a greater share of overall debt than those in upper-income areas.
  • D.C. consumers in low- and moderate-income areas are more likely to be delinquent on their account, as are those in neighborhoods with lower rates of postsecondary educational attainment.
  • Nearly every delinquent student loan borrower has an Equifax Risk Score below 600. Meanwhile, the median student loan debt among borrowers with low credit scores is rising relative to the median student loan debt for borrowers with credit scores of 660 and higher.
  • Student loan debt has increased fastest among D.C. residents aged 35 to 54, and these borrowers also have older student loan debt than other age groups.

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