Total Student Loan Debt Has Tripled Since 2004


The cost of college is growing faster than anything else in our economy, including the cost of things like health care and energy, and that’s driving huge growth in student loan debt:

Total student debt stands at $966 billion as of the fourth quarter of 2012, the N.Y. Fed said in press materials, with a 70% increase in both the number of borrowers and the average balance per person. The overall number of borrowers past due on student loan payments has grown from under 10% in 2004 to 17% in 2012.

Fewer people with student loans are buying homes, according to data in the report. Of borrowers ages 25 to 30 who are taking out new mortgages, the percentage of those with student debt has fallen by half, from nearly 9% in 2005 to just above 4% in 2012.

“The higher burden of student loans and higher delinquencies may affect borrowers’ access to other types of credit and the performance of other debt,” the fed report concluded.

Educational debt is now the largest consumer liability after mortgages.

Meanwhile, the value of a college degree continues to decline according to the Progressive Policy Institute:


In short, higher education increasingly costs more and is worth less.

That’s unsustainable.