US student-loan delinquencies surged past $166 billion last quarter

Student-loan delinquencies surpassed $166 billion last year in the third and fourth quarters, according to a new report from Bloomberg that’s based on data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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Each quarter, the New York Fed releases its household debt report, which includes the total owed and the percentage delinquent at least 90 days or in default, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, outstanding student loan debt stood at $1.46 trillion in the fourth quarter, a $15 billion raise from the previous one. About 11.4 percent of aggregate student debt was 90 days delinquent or in default in the fourth quarter of 2018. That’s a slight improvement from the third quarter, the Fed reported.

"Delinquencies continued to climb even as the unemployment rate fell below 4 percent, suggesting the strong U.S. job market hasn’t generated enough wage growth to help some people manage their outstanding obligations," Bloomberg reported.

Student loan debt in the U.S. climbed to an all-time high in the second quarter of 2018, reaching a staggering $1.53 trillion -- a burden that’s largely being borne by millennials.The crisis has become a point of concern for many, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who warned that burgeoning student loan debt could derail an otherwise-flourishing economy by hindering people’s “economic life” and hurting their credit ratings.


In fact, a survey from the NeighborWorks America revealed that 59 percent of millennials knew someone who delayed buying a home because of student loan debt.