Map 4: Student Loan Borrowers in Default, San Francisco Bay Area, March 2018

This map shows percent of student loan borrowers in default (defined as 270+ days late on payments) by zip code. The darker areas of the map indicate zip codes with higher levels of default. Default is a sub-category within the larger pool of delinquent borrowers. Student loan debt is nearly impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, having a serious impact on household finances. Neighborhoods with the highest rates of student loan default are generally characterized by low incomes, high poverty, and higher concentrations of Black and Hispanic borrowers. This map and the others linked below 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 full findings and analysis. For more information, contact Bina Shrimali.

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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.