The frightening reality, however, is that we are remarkably ignorant about student debt. How many borrowers are delinquent on their federal loans? How does delinquency differ by amount of debt, income and education? Which colleges leave students underwater, with low earnings and large debts they can’t pay?
That’s just a start. We also don’t know how many borrowers are eligible for federal debt relief, which caps payments and forgives balances, or how many have tried, but failed, to get such relief.
Because we can’t answer these questions, we can’t quantify the risks that student debt places on individual households and the economy as a whole. This limits our ability to help borrowers before they spiral into default.
This makes me really sad. It seems to me opening up this data could be a huge win for borrowers and the government.