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A new report from the left-leaning think tank Demos argues that looking at borrowers' income alone provides limited insight into student loan burdens.

The report examines the racial equity implications of various proposals to cancel student debt, a policy solution that's become increasingly popular with some progressives. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat seeking the party's presidential nomination, has also offered a debt cancellation proposal as part of her higher ed agenda.

The Demos report underlines how student debt is experienced differently by different borrower groups. The typical white male borrower, for instance, has paid off 44 percent of his student loan debt within 12 years of graduating, while the typical black female borrower has actually seen her balance grow by 13 percent, the report says.