Sorry this took a bit to respond to, but I've had trouble typing this out. This isn't stuff I like to think about and it seems like kleinbl00 has explained some of it. Here's what I typed out though, partially stemming from personal experience. . .
The thing is though, $8,900 is a lot of money for a large number of people. For paying back student loans, that's about $100 to $150 a month, something a lot of people can't afford. Let me break it down for you a bit, so you can see where I'm coming from because I found myself in this trap. Here we go . . .
Let's take a person, like me, college drop out working 2 jobs to make ends meet. Only, unlike when I was working 2 jobs, now thanks to Obamacare, the number of full time jobs out there is much lower. Now, people are working 2 part time jobs, max hours, with no benefits. That's two jobs, maybe above minimum wage, at roughly $8 an hour for 50 hours a week. That breaks down to . . .
$400 a week or about $300 after taxes. $1600 a month or about $1200 after taxes. That's about $20,000 a year or $16,000 after taxes. Money is fucking TIGHT. Here's the wild ride we're going down, and trust me, it's painful . . .
You take home $1,600 a month. Take away $500 dollars for rent. Congrats, You're down to $1,100. Now take away an additional $300, because you have to pay for utilities and your phone on your shitty plan. Now you're down to $800. Now take away another $300, because that's your money for your car insurance and gas. Heaven forbid you still owe money on that car because that's even more coming out of your pay. Now you're down to $500. Take away another $150 for food and another $150 for health insurance and you have yourself at the end of the month, $200. That's $200 dollars flex room, before student loans even come in.
Here's where things get shitty. Your car? It's a 15 year old GM J Body. Something breaks on it once every three months. There goes some of that money. What's that? You got a minor cold that somehow became an ear infection so bad that you have to go to the doctor because you woke up to literal puss oozing out your ear? That'll be an $80 copay for the clinic plus another $20 for antibiotics. In reality though, you spent half the day getting that taken care of so you're actually out more money, because you're not spending time working. After you get home from a long, half day at work because you work a shitty retail job, you find out that one of your roommates blew part of his money on a $25 dollar pizza delivery, instead of real food like rice and eggs. That's not the worse of it though, he bought that pizza to soften the blow of him getting fucking fired from his shitty ass job so now you have to cover his part of the rent until he can find something else. Now your rent just went from $500 a month to $750 a month and now you're hemorrhaging money every single month until he finds something new because you just can't kick him out, he's like family. Congratulations. You're now in a massive downwards spiral and you haven't even touched your student loans yet. Your debt is getting worse by the week and even when your roommate finally finds work again, climbing out of the debt will be that much harder, because you not only dug your hole deeper, but possibly wider. To make matters worse, if debt wasn't bad enough, the psychological pain of the inevitable collection calls and knocks on your door from the landlord will make things worse. Six years later, you're still afraid to pick up the phone whenever an unknown number calls you.
So many things go wrong when you're poor and everything that goes wrong ends up costing you money, making things worse and worse. There's a reason why savings are called "safety nets." Being able to afford to take care of problems when they first show up, keeps them from getting worse down the road, literally saving you money in the long run. You have to have that money to begin with though, to make things work.