Student Loan Debt Passes Credit Card Debt for First Time

Friday, August 13, 2010

Credit cards are no longer the biggest personal debt problem for Americans. As of June, outstanding student loans totaled $829.8 billion, while credit card debt was $826.5 billion. Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of and, told The Wall Street Journal: “The growth in education debt outstanding is like cooking a lobster. The increase in total student debt occurs slowly but steadily, so by the time you notice that the water is boiling, you’re already cooked.” Kantrowitz estimates college students and/or their parents incurred $300 billion in federal student loan debts in just the last four years.

The growth in student loan debt has received far less media attention than credit card debt and is particularly disturbing because student loan borrowers do not have the same protections as other debtors. For example, it much more difficult for them to escape payment through declaring bankruptcy.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Student-Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Cards (by Mary Pilon, Wall Street Journal)
Obama vs. Private Lenders over Student Loans (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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