In between climate change, Kardashian family news, and politics, news of student loan debt seems to make regular headlines.
And not just by a small margin: In fact, student loan debt is up more than 450% since 2003, according to experts.
That’s quite amazing considering the total U.S. household debt in the first quarter of 2017 surpassed its $12.68 trillion point reached during the recession, according to a report from the New York Fed. And it’s this huge increase in student loan debt that is considered quite shocking.
Other reports state outstanding student loan balances have risen more than 457% since 2003, according to a FOX Business analysis of statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data. In the first quarter of 2003, $241 billion in student loans were considered outstanding, compared with the first quarter of 2017, when that number jumped to $1.34 trillion. In just the first quarter of 2017, student loan debt jumped 2.6%.
The New York Fed also notes in recenta recent report that student loan balances have increased each of the 18 years it has been releasing the analysis, while other household dues have been less consistent.
From the first quarter of 2003 to the first quarter of 2017, student loan debt rose the fastest out of all types of household debt. Mortgage debt, for example, increased only 74% to $8.6 trillion. Auto loan debt increased 82% to more than $1.16 trillion. Overall household debt was up 75% during the same timeframe.
Additionally, it’s noted that student loan delinquencies have also remained high. According to the New York Fed, 11% of total student loan debt was at least 90 days delinquent or in default during the first quarter of this year. The amount of balances transitioning into delinquency has averaged about 10% annually during the past five years.
Meanwhile, the price of higher education continues to go through the roof. For the 2016-2017 school year, the average cost for a private, nonprofit four-year degree, including room and board, was more than $45,300, according to data from The College Board Opens a New Window.– a 3.4% increase over the previous year. For a public, four-year in-state education over the same time period, that number increased 2.7% to $20,090.
Also, in August, Experian said in a statement that it analyzed data from its consumer credit database and found that 13.4 percent of U.S. consumers — from the Silent Generation to Generation Z — have one or more student loans on file. The analysis also found that while student loans constitute the largest amount of non-household debt and the fastest growing debt segment, there is a lower percentage of late payments on these loans, the statement said.
“Student loan balances are on the rise, which is a result of the increasing cost of higher education. Even with this number moving upward, the data is showing a decrease of delinquencies, which means that consumers are managing their loan payments better than they have in the past,” said Michele Raneri, Experian vice president of analytics.
According to the statement, the average total student loan balance is $34,144, the average number of student loans is 3.7 per person, up from 2.4 in 2007, and the percentage of late payments has dropped 10.1 percent since 2009.
Generation X has the largest outstanding balance — $39,802, Experian reported. Generation Y has the largest number of loans — 4.4 per person. Generation Z has the highest percentage of loans currently in deferment — 77 percent.
Experian also said that its study found that consumers on the East Coast tend to have higher student loan balances, with Gainesville, Florida, having the highest average balance at $42,400, while Glendive, Montana has the lowest at $20,200.v