In the last decade, student loan debt has exploded, directly impacting the lives of millions of Americans and leaving its mark on the entire economy. There are currently over 44 million Americans with student loan debt. With the costs of higher education continuing to rise at alarming rates and a college education becoming a requirement for more and more jobs, millions more will soon be joining their ranks. Burdened by extraordinary student loan debt and stagnant wages, a generation of Americans are delaying or forgoing opportunities to build wealth, such as purchasing their first homes or starting their own businesses. These trends exacerbate the already wide racial wealth gap. Student loan debt is also hampering older Americans’ ability to retire with adequate financial support.

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