Student Loan Debt Tops 900 Billion

Student loan debt climbed up three percent in the first quarter of 2012, bringing the total up to $904 billion.

The debt tally comes from a report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The report also notes that student loan debt has increased $663 billion since 2003.

The increases in student debt stand in contrast to the general indebtedness of the rest of the nation. Most people seem to be paying down their debts, as total household debt declined $100 billion.

The increasing student loan debt worries many, as it is the only form of consumer debt to continue to increase since 2008.

According to the Washington Post, it’s not just the student loan debt that is going up, but in the first quarter of 2012, the delinquency rate for student loans actually rose to 8.69 percent — the only kind of consumer debt whose delinquency rate increased as well.

That rate does not include loans that have gone into forbearance, which account for four percent of loans owned by Sallie Mae.

The Post suggests that one of the reasons for the increase in student loan debt is the type of consumers who take out such loans are younger, and many cannot find full time employment.

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Another Los Angeles Timesstory reports that the crushing weight of student loan debt is causing some people to struggle moving on with their lives after college.

“People aren’t buying houses or starting families until later on and progressing on what we as a society see as the steps of life,” said Radhika Singh Miller, a student-debt specialist at Equal Justice Works, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington in an interview with the Times.

Various levels of the government have addressed different methods helping reduce student loan debt, but no clear path toward that end has been agreed upon.

(Image courtesy of College Magazine)