Unemployment hasn’t been this low for 50 years, but a record one-quarter of student loans from a popular federal program qualified for easier repayment plans to help borrowers avoid default. Income-based repayment plans were being used on 24.7% of $452 billion worth of student loans with U.S. government backing during the fourth-quarter of 2019, up from 21.8% a year earlier. The Obama administration bolstered income-based repayment options in 2009 for student borrowers in the Federal Family Educational Loan Program (FFELP) following the global financial crisis, which saw credit dry up and millions of American lose their homes to foreclosure.
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