New data released today by the Federal Reserve shows, while general consumer debt has decreased in the first quarter of this year, student loan debt in particular continues to aggressively increase. Overall student loan debt has skyrocketed in the past 10 years, rising by 275%.
Sudents protest shackles of debt, October 2011. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt hit $904 billion in the first quarter of 2012; however, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau puts the number at the $1 trillion mark.
"While consumers have been whittling down that debt in recent years, student loans have been on the rise. The high unemployment rate has prompted more people to go back to school for retraining, which has contributed to loan demand," reports Reuters today. "Since household debt peaked in the third quarter of 2008, student loan debt has climbed by $293 billion, while other types of debt have dropped by $1.53 trillion, the Fed report said."
Others lay some of the blame on the continually increasing costs of eduction, as college tuition and fees continue to reach new levels.