Student debt, like global warming, is one of those rare categories of news in which the latest news is always worse, never better. How are the very latest numbers? Bad!
A new report from the New York Fed shows where we stand as debtors as of the end of 2014: we stand in pile of sewage, and all of that sewage is labeled "debt," and we are trying to pass out resumes to sewer monsters, and it's tough. This is where the average American college graduate stands today (in the sewer). Of all of our debt, nothing is as worrisome as our god damn student loans, which have risen to a total of $1.16 trillion—more than any other form of debt in America except mortgages. (And a mortgage at least comes with a house!) The delinquency rate on student loans is more than 11%, far higher than any other form of debt, probably because, haha, they gave those big loans to students, which is obviously stupid.
The average balance for each borrower has grown by 74 percent in the last decade, mushrooming from $15,000 per person in 2004 to $27,000 in 2014, said the report, which was based on a nationally representative sample taken from anonymous Equifax credit data.
Most borrowers actually have less than $27,000 in debt. The average is skewed higher by the 1.8 million people — a small proportion of all borrowers— with extreme debt (as in, pushing $100,000).
Eventually we will either let people get rid of their student loan debt via bankruptcy, or America will develop an entire class of well-educated street urchins, ready to act as a skilled servant for mere pennies. (This is called "TaskRabbit.") Win-win.