Recent Federal Reserve statistics revealed that students are borrowing money at unprecedented rates. Meanwhile, a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicated college graduates have been keeping debt collection agencies busy.
Excluding mortgage rates, consumer debt increased 2.3 percent between the second and third quarters of 2012 to a record $2.74 trillion. Student debt accounted for the most non-mortgage household debt, jumping another $42 billion to total $956 billion. More than half of that $42 billion increase was made up of new debt, which means short term lenders have likely seen an uptick in business. The statistics also revealed that student loan delinquencies reached an all-time high, with 11 percent of student loan payments being 90 days or more late. A year ago, that number was fewer than 9 percent. There are, however, viable solutions for students struggling to pay their loans on time. For example, as a recent MarketWatch report pointed out, federal student loan borrowers can request income based repayment, during which only 10 to 15 percent of their respective incomes go toward paying off loans. In addition, private short term lenders sometimes offer graduates negotiable payments plans.