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How the US student loan debt crisis started — and how it could end

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America’s students have a debt problem. A big one. More than 45 million Americans – more than the population of California – now owe a collective $1.7tn in student debt.What to do about that debt has become a hot political issues as midterm elections approach.The vast majority of the money is owed to the federal government, which has been backing or directly offering student loans for higher education since 1958.

While student loans are not new in the United States, the amount of student debt has doubled over the last 16 years.The Biden administration has recently hinted that some form of student debt forgiveness could be announced soon – specifically, canceling at least $10,000 in student debt for Americans earning less than $125,000 a year.

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