This is pretty scary.
America’s student debt at the end of 2010 is nearly $880 billion. That number is growing by more than $2,800 dollars per second.
And there appears to be no end in sight. Student debt is a very big deal; most don’t think about it while in school, however. They assume that when they graduate, they will immediately earn a high paying job and things will work out. But…
For a growing number of graduates, though, it’s not working out — especially in an economy where well-paying jobs for college graduates are in short supply. Student loan defaults have doubled in the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and are now approaching nearly a quarter-million defaults a year.
The official student loan default rate, according to the government, is now seven percent. That rivals the default rate for credit cards (8.8 percent) and home mortgages (9.1 percent). Because the government is lending most of the money, every default leaves the taxpayers on the hook.
“The schools keep the money, the students keep the debt, and the taxpayers lose,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “There’s a lot of similarities between what’s happening with student loans … and the housing crisis.”