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Student loan debt hits $1.27 trillion, grows $3,055 every second

The higher ed bubble continues to inflate, with student loan debt now coming in at $1.27 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, an amount that tops the $994 billion owed in auto loans and $901 billion in credit card debt.

To make matters worse, every second, the amount of student loan debt in America increases by $3,055.19, MarketWatch estimates.

And the class of 2015 graduated with the largest amount of student loan debt ever at an estimated average of $35,051 per person, MarketWatch reports.

Overall, roughly 40 million Americans had student loan debt in 2014, according to CNN Money.

With decreased job prospects during the past decade, former students are having a hard time paying off their loans.

An estimated one-third of students who were repaying their loans in 2014 were five days delinquent in their in their payments, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Education.

The inability to pay off loans is starting to have longterm impacts on life after graduation.

A survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Bankrate.com found that crushing student loan debt has caused many to put off major life milestones.

“45% of Americans with student loans, and 56% of those between 18 and 29, have put off a major life event because of the burden of that debt,” the survey’s findings report.

A breakdown of the results reveal that 30 percent of the 18 to 29-year-old demographic reported they had put off buying a home, 18 percent had postponed saving for retirement, 29 percent had yet to buy a car, 19 percent had not gotten married, and 14 percent had decided to wait to have children.

Only 44 percent indicated that they had not postponed anything in their adult life because of loans.

Further, student loan debt is starting to impact other areas of the economy.

John Burns Real Estate Consulting estimates that student loan debt cost the industry the sale of 414,000 homes at a total of $83 billion dollars in 2014 because of potential buyers who put off buying a home.

The company projected that every month, $250 paid back toward a student loan “reduces household purchasing power by $44,000,” and “most households paying 750+ per month in student loans are priced out of the market.”

Additionally, former students can find themselves have a hard time qualifying for auto loans if their loan repayments take up a large chunk of their income, Credit.com reports.

However, things may look a little better for recent grads as far as the job market goes.

Michigan State University’s College Employment Research Institute projected that the hiring prospects for those who recently graduated with with a bachelor’s degree would be increasing by 16 percent from last year.

The companies cited their desire to hire recent grads because of company growth in the last year and their low level of current employees.

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About the Author
Julianne Stanford -- University of Arizona