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How student debt fuels inequality in one of the country’s most expensive places to live

The $1.5 trillion in outstanding student debt touches the lives of 44 million Americans in all corners of the country.

But what’s it like to manage your student loans in a place that’s become a symbol of the challenges — from the skyrocketing cost of living to rising inequality — that can come with quick and huge influxes of wealth?

A new report paints a picture. And it’s not pretty.

Between 2003 and 2018, the share of adults with student debt in the Bay Area has nearly doubled, jumping from 6.2% to 12.2% and collectively these 735,000 borrowers owe $26.6 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment.

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