The more people take on student loan debt, the more our credit risk goes up (via/Sober Look). Barclay’s recent study with Experian found that 14% of borrowers had past-due balances, while 27% of those entering the repayment cycle had past-due balances:
“Almost half of all student borrowers were not making payments; 47% were either still in school or in deferral, forbearance, or grace periods as of Q3 2011. This means that a significant number of borrowers who are not currently in repayment are set to enter the payment cycle in the next few years. Given the weak labour market and increasing dropout rates, there is little reason to think that their delinquency rates will lower the current national average.”
But don’t be so quick to blame the student debt problem on Gen Y. As Barclays reported Wednesday, 15.5 per cent of outstanding student balances are held by borrowers age 50-59, while those over 60 account for 4.8 per cent:
Total borrowers by age:
Even worse, despite being in their prime earning years, these boomers don’t seem interested in paying back the debt. Their delinquencies are “disproportionately high,” says Barclays.
Delinquent borrowers by age:
At the rate we’re going, says Sober Look, the federal government faces staggering risks of exposure and default—particularly among borrowers who defer their payments and must start paying interest.