Total U.S. student loans outstanding hit $1.03 trillion as of Sept. 30, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. At last count, the loans were rising by $400 million a day.
About 37 million Americans are carrying student loans now, affecting one household in six, according to research from Daniel Austin, an associate professor at Northeastern University’s School of Law. He calls them an “indentured generation” and warns that many will be burdened by student debt for much of their lives.
The students, it should be added, never see the money: The colleges took it all in higher fees. In the past 30 years, reports the College Board, colleges nearly tripled the cost of tuition, when measured in 2013 dollars. The only thing the students ever saw was the debt.