Total Student Loan Debt Has Tripled Since 2004


The cost of college is growing faster than anything else in our economy, including the cost of things like health care and energy, and that’s driving huge growth in student loan debt:

Total student debt stands at $966 billion as of the fourth quarter of 2012, the N.Y. Fed said in press materials, with a 70% increase in both the number of borrowers and the average balance per person. The overall number of borrowers past due on student loan payments has grown from under 10% in 2004 to 17% in 2012.

Fewer people with student loans are buying homes, according to data in the report. Of borrowers ages 25 to 30 who are taking out new mortgages, the percentage of those with student debt has fallen by half, from nearly 9% in 2005 to just above 4% in 2012.

“The higher burden of student loans and higher delinquencies may affect borrowers’ access to other types of credit and the performance of other debt,” the fed report concluded.

Educational debt is now the largest consumer liability after mortgages.

Meanwhile, the value of a college degree continues to decline according to the Progressive Policy Institute:


In short, higher education increasingly costs more and is worth less.

That’s unsustainable.

Rob Port is the editor of 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.

Related posts

  • mikemc1970

    But, but, Rob. How will the Democrats ensure future members if people grow up and make more mature decisions in life, like voting conservative, unless people are enslaved by a government loan they can never pay off?

  • Kevin Flanagan

    Wasn’t slavery abolished a long time ago in this country?

  • SigFan

    Funny, for most people I would be willing to bet that their income hasn’t tripled since 2004. In fact I would be surprised if a large percentage of them aren’t actually making (and keeping) less than they were back then. But how can you put a price on proper education indoctrination.

  • Tall Tom

    One thing for sure, I would never hire a student who has NDSA membership on his or her resume.

  • WOOF

    People out of work go to school.
    Credentials get people jobs.

    • Kevin Flanagan

      Having marketable skills enable normal people to get jobs.

      • mikemc1970

        There in lies the rub. Liberals are incapable of understanding that a $200,000 degree in minority or womens studies is completely worthless. Useful idiots with useless skills.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Not in obama’s economy. Millions of “credentialed” people are under employed if they are employed at all. Not that there is anything wrong with secondary education but under this clown’s management the employment picture is very poor.

  • 11B40


    My understanding of the present state of our country and our culture comes from the lessons taught by this country’s pre-eminent, elderly, Jewish, female jurist. Judge Judy, that is.

    Not only does she have a hard time getting through a week without railing about the continuously expanding stream of benefits that flows from our various levels of almost-government, but, over the last several years, the number of her cases that involve supposed student loans has just about gone through the studio courthouse roof.

    All shapes, sizes, ages, and dispositions seem interested, eligible, and subsequently endowed. Where one might expect young adults to be the primary beneficiaries, those days have apparently passed. And based on the unpaid loans and abandoned credit cards, one might come to the unsettling conclusion that this is no longer a loan program but some sort of sub rosa welfare program in which only the idiots and the morally encumbered are expected to ever pay anything much back.

    Such are the times in which we live.