At the end of September, outstanding student loan balances totaled $956 billion, amounting to an increase of $42 billion from the previous quarter. Now that the fourth quarter is well under way, improvement looks unlikely. New York Times blogger Catherine Rampell put this debt into perspective with some statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
According to the New York Fed, 11 percent of student loans are currently 90 days delinquent. What’s worse is the footnote clarifying the rate, adding “these delinquency rates for student loans are likely to understate actual delinquency rates because almost half of these loans are currently in deferment or in grace periods and therefore temporarily not in the repayment cycle.” This means delinquency rates are actually nearly 22 percent.