A WSO user not too long ago wrote a personal, almost poetic piece about his own experience with student debt titled, I Am The Toxic Debt. I can't help but think about the imminent dangers of unscrupulous student loans lending, as many institutions are still being chastised for easy lending which created the housing crash. Is our institutions doing the same thing, lending to students in a lack-luster economy? From Q4 2007 to Q1 2012, student loans have grown from $93 to $452.6 billion, a growth of 332%.
Student loans may be a liability on the consumer balance sheet, but they constitute an asset for Uncle Sam. Just how big? Nearly 35% of the total federal assets, over four times the 8.6% percent for the total mortgages outstanding.
This doesn't include private loans. Estimated total outstanding loans are estimated to be about one trillion dollars. But I get it, human capital and innovation is the driving force of economic growth. In a piece by Bloomberg:
Keep in mind that much of that $1 trillion is "good debt." Most borrowers have manageable loans, and workers with a bachelor's degree earn 84 percent more over their lifetimes on average than those with only a high school diploma. They also face much lower unemployment rates. So a college loan remains a very smart investment for many people.
Do you think student loans could be the next bubble? Is congress doing enough to contain the problem? Or do you think the level of debt will prove to be a worthy investment into the US economy?