Student Loan Debt Far Outpaces Credit Card Debt

Student Loan Debt Far Outpaces Credit Card Debt

February 23, 2017         Written By John H. Oldshue

Student loan debt is on the rise, and Americans now owe $1.31 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This is nearly double the $779 billion that consumers owe in credit card debt.

Of the 44 million Americans who have student loan debt, the average amount owed is $37,172. Meanwhile, the average annual wage in the United States was only $48,098 in 2015, which means most people are struggling to make their student loan payments and cover other debts, according to the Social Security administration.

Due to these financial struggles, $31 billion in student loan debt is “seriously delinquent,” which are payments that are late by at least 90 days. An additional $32.6 billion is “newly delinquent,” which means it is between 30 and 89 days past due.

Over two million student loan holders owe over $100,000, and 415,000 owe more than $200,000. Most people who have student loan debt owe far less, as 30 million owe between $1 and $25,000.

The New York’s Fed report shows student loan debt is not the only serious financial concern. The collective household debt in the United States has reached $12.58 trillion. At the current rate of growth, we could surpass the 2008 peak of $12.68 trillion later this year. Mortgages are the largest component of household debt, but they are not rising as quickly as other forms of debt.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 23, 2017. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
View all posts by John H. Oldshue
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