Myths About Student Loans
Susan Dynarski, Professor of Public Policy; Professor of Education; Professor of Economics
The massive dollar amounts associated with student loan debt and the impact on individuals and the financial stability of the overall economy has attracted the attention of journalists, economists, and average Americans. There are, however, several myths associated with these eye-popping numbers, and Susan Dynarski, Professor of public policy, education and economics will discuss a few of these myths in our January Blue Bag Lunch Talk.
For example, in a recent paper for Brookings, "The Trouble with Student Loans? Low Earnings, Not High Debt," Professor Dynarski debunks the popular notion that more student debt leads to higher student loan default rates.
In fact, research shows that default rates are highest among individuals with smaller loan balances. Students borrowing under $5,000 default at a rate of 34 percent, compared to 18 percent for those borrowing more than $100,000.
Among policy proposals advocated by Professor Dynarski to address the student loan crisis is to automatically enroll borrowers who are late on payments in income-based repayment, or adjust loan payments each pay period, similar to the current income-tax withholding system.