Student Loan Delinquencies On the Rise

Even as total debt falls


Young people with student loans have slashed other debt, but delinquency rates keep climbing as their overall financial situation remains precarious.

Even as the average school-loan balance for 25-year-old borrowers jumped 55% from 2005 to 2012, their total debt actually fell 4% during that time, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve. They've done that by slashing nonstudent debt more than their peers without college loans, buying fewer homes, autos and other purchases.

Yet the share of student-loan borrowers falling behind on repayment has shot up. Among those younger than 30 who are more than 90 days delinquent, the share swelled to 34.9% last year from 21.2% in 2004. Meantime, delinquency on other debt is down.