U.S. Student Debt Exceeds $1 Trillion as Delinquency Rate Increases to as High as One Third

As Americans continue to struggle to pay off their increasing debts, a new report reveals the highest delinquency rate belongs to student loans amounting to $1.08 trillion, Forbes reported.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Quarterly Report, student loans are higher than credit cards, mortgages and auto loans with 11.5 percent of student loan balances 90 or more days in default.

The outstanding student loan balances increase represents an increase of $114 billion for 2013.  What’s more, a closer inspection of the figures released from the report reveals a much more gloomier economic picture than first realized.  According to Credit.com, that 11.5 percent figure is really closer to 23 percent because only about half of the overall debt is actually amortizing.

“The 11.5% is really closer to 23% because the total amount of delinquent loans should be divided by $600 billion instead of $1.2 trillion. What’s more, these are just the loans that are 90-plus days past due. What of the debts that are 30 or 60 days late? Curiously, that data is nowhere to be found, except for a strong clue in the back of the report,” Mitchell Weiss writes.

Based on those figures, Consumerist concludes that nearly one-third of the $600 billion in student loans currently in repayment mode could be in default.

These loans have a crippling impact on recent graduates and significantly effect a borrower’s credit score.  Not to mention the impact increasing student loans have on the economy with student borrowers ending up delaying major life decisions like buying cars and homes.

Yet, with rising higher education costs and opportunities for financial aid limited and highly competitive, students often feel they have no choice but to take out loans.

A new Wells Fargo study reveals one third of millennials say they would have been better off working than going to college, with more than half financing their education through student loans.  

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