The student debt boom (cont.)

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is out with it latest household debt report, covering the first quarter of 2015. Its parent in DC, the Federal Reserve Board, publishes lots of similar data, but the New York Fed is the first source to publish rigorous numbers on student debt. The latest report is here; you can get the numbers behind it here. Since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, households have been borrowing very cautiously (how much it’s their decision, their lenders’ decision, or a combination of the… Read More

Strike Debt & the Corinthian resisters

Someone asked me on Facebook yesterday what I’d written on Strike Debt and I posted some links from this site. One of the Strike Debt organizers, Astra Taylor, wrote me to complain how hard that was to read after all the work she and others have done organizing debt resistance at Corinthian College. She’s right, and I’m sorry to have brought all that up again. I wrote those critiques of the debt buyback program, which seemed politically murky to me. But the Corinthian actions are totally admirable. Corinthian is a chain of crappy… Read More

The economic consequences of student debt

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is out with new research (“Young Student Loan Borrowers Retreat from Housing and Auto Markets”) showing that student debt is not merely painful to those owing it, but has also become economically damaging. The debt service burden is essentially neutralizing, or worse, the income advantage of having earned a bachelor’s degree or more, at least as measured by the ability to buy a house or a car. Over the last decade, the share of 25-year-olds with student debt has risen from about 25% in 2003 to… Read More

Student debt up, all other kinds down

The New York Fed is out with its credit report for the first quarter of 2012. It shows student debt bucking the trend (“Student Loan Debt Continues to Grow”), rising while all other kinds of debt fell from the end of last year. Student debt, at $904 billion (not yet the much-advertised trillion), is now considerably larger than credit card and auto debt. A decade ago, student debt was a less than half credit cards and autos. (By the way, it’s interesting that the New York Fed has begun publishing rigorous student debt… Read More

New data on student debt from the NY Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is out with some new data on student debt (“Grading Student Loans”). Two major highlights: beware of using simple averages, and, more strikingly, more than one in four borrowers is behind on payments—more than twice the share of other forms of personal debt. First, the debt levels. Total student debt is about $870 billion—more than credit card balances ($693 billion) and auto loans ($730 billion). That’s an enormous number, but economists have paid it little attention—surprising, considering the attention paid to household finances. And student… Read More