More than 42 million people in the US - roughly one in six adults - hold student debt, which averages roughly $30,000 for a four-year undergraduate degree.
Financial stress from the loans, which bring typical monthly bills of nearly $400 for recent graduates, has been blamed for holding back a generation financially.
Nearly a fifth of borrowers are in default and millions more are behind on payments, which come due shortly after graduation regardless of employment or income.
The government, which owns more than 90% of the debts, estimates that roughly a third will never get repaid.
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