Student-loan debt rises 8% to $904B
Americans are stepping up borrowing to pay for college while cutting other debt as a weak job market contributes to increased college enrollment, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing new Federal Reserve Bank of New York data. Americans owed $904 billion in student loans at the end of March, nearly 8% higher than a year ago, the New York Fed says today in its quarterly report on consumer credit. That is more than the $679 billion on their credit cards at the end of the first quarter. The New York Fed's estimates of student debt are about 10% lower than the more than $1 trillion figure cited earlier this year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The New York Fed's estimate is based on a sampling of consumer-credit agency accounts; the CFPB's estimate is based on government data and a survey of private lenders. The New York Fed report shows that Americans are still cutting overall debt—a process known as "deleveraging" that began in the wake of the financial crisis. The report also indicates a growing number of Americans are struggling to repay their student loans, based on the number of borrowers who failed to make a payment on a student-loan account in the past 90 days.
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