Mission: To provide an in-depth look at student loan borrowing and repayment rates in the nine-county Bay Area.
Background: Studies have shown that higher education is a key driver of financial security and economic mobility. However, many student loan borrowers struggle to repay their loans and remain weighed down by debt for years, if not decades. In the Bay Area, the burden of student loan debt is exacerbated by stagnant incomes that have not kept pace with the skyrocketing cost of living. To shed light on the problem, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has developed a mapping tool that enables users to explore differences in student loan debt at the zip-code level. The overall goal, according to the San Francisco Fed, is to make policy makers aware of regional trends in student loan delinquency/default rates and answer the question: Who's experiencing the most financial distress related to student debt?
Outstanding Web Feature: As developed as a supplement to the bank's April 2019 report At What Cost? Student Loan Debt in the Bay Area, the interactive map (which is based on Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax Data) shows student borrowing and repayment outcomes by zip code within the nine-county region. Visitors can search the map by specific zip code and, with the click of a mouse, compare the data with data from neighboring zip codes. Additional map views also are provided for median balances, rates of delinquency (90+ days late) and default (270+ days late), and defaults since 2003.