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Consumers pay down debt, except student loans

Sep 03, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Consumer credit data has demonstrated improvements since 2008, when the economic crisis threatened individuals' financial health. A recent report from Equifax shows that consumers are paying down their debts across a number of categories, including auto loans, bank cards, home equity and mortgage delinquency. However, not all categories are seeing a decrease in the delinquency rate. The report found that student loan delinquency rates for a 60-day period actually grew in July by 14 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, July represented a 29 percent increase in student loan write-offs from the previous month. "Student loans is one area of lending not affected by tighter underwriting standards since the start of the recession," stated Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. "Unfortunately, the current job market has not been kind to new graduates and their student loans start to come due once they graduate - if they don't have a job by the time the first installment is due, they can find themselves in quite a jam." Separate reports have emphasized this problem, finding that student loan debt has now outpaced credit card debt.