An investment in higher education is a key driver of financial security and economic mobility in the United States. However, many student loan borrowers struggle with their debt, which in the San Francisco Bay Area is exacerbated by skyrocketing cost of living and incomes that have not kept pace. To better understand the landscape of student debt in the Bay Area, the following maps show student borrowing and repayment outcomes by zip code within the nine-county region. The maps show prevalence of outstanding student loan debt, median balances, and rates of delinquency (90+ days late), default (270+ days late), and default since 2003.
These maps are a supplement to the April 2019 Report, At What Cost? Student Loan Debt in the Bay Area, written in partnership with the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment. For more information, contact Bina Shrimali.
Map 1: Prevalence of Student Loans, San Francisco Bay Area, March 2018
This map shows the percent of adults with student loan debt by zip code. The darker areas of the map indicate zip codes with higher prevalence of student debt. While there is no single trend accounting for variation in borrowing, higher rates of borrowing can be found in high poverty areas.
Select a zip code on the map to see data.
Click legend boxes to see area trends.
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Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax Data (CCP)
About the Data
These maps employ Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax Data from March 2018 going back to March 2003 and the American Community Survey (ACS) 2013-2017. Collected quarterly by the credit bureau Equifax, these data comprise various credit and demographic characteristics of an anonymized 5 percent national random sample of consumers over 18 with a credit history and Social Security numbers. We adjusted balances to account for jointly-held loans. We defined delinquency and default in accordance with the Department of Education definitions of being 90+ or 270+ days past due on one or more student loan, respectively. We excluded zip codes from the analysis if they are missing Census or ACS data or from maps if they have fewer than 10 observations. See the full report for more information on methods.
1. Delinquent is defined as 90+ days past due on payments.
2. In default is defined as 270+ days past due on payments.
3. In default since 2003 is defined as 270+ days past due on payments at some point from 2003 to 2018.