America’s Student Loan Debt is Over a Trillion Dollars. Who Owes All This Money—and Why?

Student loan debt in the United States has reached an astronomical high. How did we get here?

Beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once quipped that a stack of a trillion dollars would reach the moon and back four times. So calling America’s student loan debt—currently at $1.1 trillion—astronomical is not much of a stretch. According to the Federal Reserve Bank’s Household Debt and Credit Report, 11.3 percent of that total was at least 90 days past due in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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