Americans now have more student debt than they owe on their credit cards. U.S. students took out more than $100 billion in loans last year, a figure that will push the total amount of outstanding student debt above the $1-trillion mark this year for the first time ever.Those were among the most depressing figures in a rather depressing new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which USA Today dives into. To put the $1-trillion figure into some perspective, that total means that Americans now owe more in student loans than they do on their credit cards.
Even when adjusting for inflation, students are borrowing at roughly twice what they did a decade ago, and total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years alone, the data shows. Full-time undergrads borrowed an average of $4,953 in 2010, a 63-percent jump from the previous decade even when inflation is factored in.
USA Today spoke to several student loan experts and observers, none of whom sugarcoated what the numbers mean. "Students who borrow too much end up delaying life-cycle events such as buying a car, buying a home, getting married [and] have children", said Mark Kantrowitz, a publisher of FinAid.org. Nick Pardini, a finance grad student at Villanova who blogs on the topic, went one better: "It's going to create a generation of wage slavery".