Donghoon Lee of the New York Federal Reserve is the author of a recent research summary outlining the current state of student debt in the United States. You can find the report in its entirety here:
The research shows what we all know: student loans outstanding are growing, and the growth is not slowing down. Here are a few takeaways:
1) Coming out of the recession, Americans pared back all non-mortgage debt except for student loans, which grew steadily and now represent the largest portion of non-mortgage consumer debt:
2) More and more young people are carrying student loans:
3) Student loan delinquencies are on the rise:
4) As a result, more young people are delaying the purchase of a home as indicated by fewer mortgage originations:
5) Growing demand for higher education likely comes down to a simple explanation: better career prospects, lower unemployment and higher average earnings than non-college graduates.
Until some time where the risk and burden of student loans overcomes the dramatically better earnings potential, it is difficult to imagine this trend slowing.