new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes that Americans now have some $150 billion in private student loan debt. While private loans make up just a fraction of total outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. — which hit $1 trillion last year — they can be especially problematic for borrowers as they usually have higher interest rates and less protections than federal loans. Before the economic crisis, lenders are said to have been "aggressive" in their pursuit of students and often gave them loans beyond what they needed or could afford.
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