Want to strike fear and anxiety into the heart of college students?
Try uttering the dreaded words "student loans."
Scary or not, according to a recent article in The Huffington Post, 43% of 25-year-olds in 2013 have student loan debt (up from 25% previously).
America's student loan debt crisis is being hyped as "the next housing bubble"? and unfortunately for us, bubbles always burst. In fact, just last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a GOP-backed bill that will allow interest rates on student loans to vary year to year, depending on the strength of the economy. So get ready guys, things are just about to get even more complicated.
For a generation that spent the latter half of our formative years living through the Great Recession, we're clearly no strangers to the reality of debt. But as the article confirmed, our fear of student loans is warranted after all. Based on a recent survey of consumer debt by the New York Federal Reserve, as U.S. households are slowly but surely paying off their debt, student loans seem to be the one type of debt that Americans just can't shake.
This survey revealed that while Americans paid down $110 billion in debt during the first quarter of 2013, they dug themselves even deeper with student loans. As a country, we owe almost $1 trillion in student debt ? $20 billion of that debt from this past quarter alone.
Maybe it's just me, but anything ending in "trillion" starts to be a pretty scary number.
To put it even more into perspective:
America's outstanding student loans total $986 billion? making it the largest category of debt for our country.
There's a nearly $200 billion discrepancy between student loan debt and the second largest category of debt (auto loans).
In the past five years, student loan debt actually increased by $407 billion? nearly tripling since 2005.
With so much new information brought to light by this survey, we can only wonder if there will ever be a solution to the student loan debt crisis in America. Is it just a problem that's destined to get worse or will there finally be a way to dig ourselves out of this?