U.S. Student Loan Delinquencies Climbing Fast, Showing No Signs of Slowing

Research by FICO Labs into the growing student lending crisis in the U.S. has found that, as a group, individuals taking out student loans today pose a significantly greater risk of default than those who took out student loans just a few years ago. The situation is compounded by significant growth in the amount of debt that new graduates are carrying.

The delinquency rate between 2005-2007 on student loans that were originated in the three months after October 2005 is 12.4 percent. The comparable figure between 2010-2012 for student loans that were originated in the three months after October 2010 is 15.1 percent, representing an increase in the delinquency rate by nearly 22 percent.

While the delinquency rate is climbing, the average amount of student loan debt is increasing even faster. In 2005, the average U.S. student loan debt was $17,233. By 2012, it had ballooned to more than $27,253 ”“ an increase of 58 percent in seven years. By contrast, the average credit card balance and the average balance on car loans owed by U.S. consumers actually decreased during the same period.

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