Sunday, March 10, 2013

New York Times editorial says student loan debt is drag on economy at large

Today's NYT has an editorial calling for government intervention that will allow students to reduce their loan payments on money borrowed from private lenders much like the IBR program lets students to repay their federally funded loans based on what they actual earn.

Student Debt and the Economy

The student loan debt crisis has become a drag on the economy. Younger Americans who are saddled with bankrupting payments — or credit ratings damaged by delinquency — are in no position to buy homes, save for retirement or start businesses.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently released a study showing just why many young people are being strangled by student loans. It found that 43 percent of 25-year-olds had student debt in 2012, an increase from 27 percent in 2004.

Unemployment and the collapse of household income in the recession only made the borrowing problem worse.

According to the new study, student debt almost tripled between 2004 and 2012, and is approaching $1 trillion, while the percentage of borrowers who were more than 90 days delinquent had risen to 17 percent, from 10 percent in 2004. In addition, student loan debt was the only kind of household debt that continued to rise through the Great Recession, and it is now the second largest after mortgage debt.

. . . .

To get a handle on the student debt problem, the federal government needs to provide relief programs for private loan borrowers too. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced last month that it was soliciting ideas from policy makers and others for a plan that would give private loan borrowers some relief. Such a plan, which would most likely involve a public-private partnership that freed up capital for refinancing, would have to be part of any solution to the student debt crisis.

You can continue reading (though a subscription may be required) here.  There's also a related NYT editorial here called "A Dangerous 'New Normal' in College Debt."


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