CFPB Issues Reports on Student Loan Debt, Repayment

The CFPB released two report this week outlining challenges with student loan repayment and repayment programs.  The first report, entitled “CFPB Data Point: Student Loan Repayment,” found nearly half of student loan borrowers leave school owing at least $20,000 – double the share of borrowers a decade ago. The Bureau also found more borrowers are taking out student loans later in life, and fewer are paying down their student debt in five years.

Key findings in the report indicated:

  • More than 40 percent of student loan borrowers leave school owing $20,000 or more;
  • Half of student loan borrowers are older than 34 when they start repayment;
  • 30 percent of borrowers are not paying down their loan balances after five years in repayment; and
  • More than 60 percent of borrowers not reducing their balances are delinquent. 


More information on this key finding can be found in the Bureau’s explainer blog.


A second report, entitled “Innovation Highlights: Emerging Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs,” highlights issues identified by student loan borrowers, as well as feedback from a range of private and public-sector entities including employers providing student loan repayment benefits to borrowers. This report features a series of recommendations to student loan servicers, policymakers, and administrators of student loan repayment programs. These recommendations are designed to address these concerns and promote future growth and innovation to assist consumers with student debt. 


The report identified:

  • A growing number of employers offer repayment assistance to employees with student debt;
  • Student loan repayment assistance can save some borrowers hundreds or thousands of dollars;
  • Servicing problems can create roadblocks to providing and improving student loan repayment benefits; and
  • Employers and benefits administrators can tailor programs to better meet employees’ needs.