Higher Education Bubble: Student Loan Debt Increases 275%, Delinquency Rate Up 41%

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The national economic recession has had little impact on the accumulation of student loan debt, but it does appear as though things are coming to a head. Student loan debt is second only to mortgages in terms of national household debt, and delinquency rates among student loans are the highest of any sort of debt in the nation.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Student loans have more than tripled over the past decade, according to new data from the Federal Reserve.

Student loan debt hit $904 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up from $241 billion a decade ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York quarterly household debt report. That’s up 275% since the same period in 2003. …

Americans are also increasingly falling behind on their student loans. Long-term delinquency rates now stand at 8.69%, up from 6.13% a decade ago.

That’s higher than the delinquency rates of mortgages, auto loans and home equity lines of credit, but still down from a peak of 9.17% in the third quarter of 2010.

That delinquency rate may actually be worse than it seems as, according to the article, almost half of America’s student loans are currently in deferment or grace periods. Typically these loans don’t have to be repaid as long as the student is still in school or unemployed.

With roughly 1 in 2 recent college graduates unemployed, we can see that the problem is probably much worse than can be measured right now.

But times are good in the higher education industry. Nationally average salary for full professors has gone up 67% since 2000, while pay for associate professors has gone up 50% according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and university administrators are raking it in as well.

Higher education faculty and administrators are getting rich while the students are sent out into the world with more student loan debt than ever before and degress that are, thanks to things like grade inflation, worth less and less.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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