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Unpaid Student Loans Top $1 Trillion

Tim Mak

The average full-time undergraduate student borrowed $4,963 in 2010. Click to see larger image. (Tumblr | WeArethe99%)

Giving validation to Occupy Wall Street protests over the increasing burdens of student debt, a new report indicates that the amount of total amount of outstanding student loans will exceed $1 trillion for the first time ever this year.

In addition, the amount of student loans taken out last year was greater than $100 billion, another new record, according to USA Today, citing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The $1 trillion of outstanding loans means that Americans now owe more on student loans than on their credit cards. While students have been racking up educational loans, American consumers have been paying down credit cards and home loans.

The average full-time undergraduate student borrowed $4,963 in 2010, up 63 percent from a decade earlier, even after adjusting for inflation, the report says.

Meanwhile, with a greater loan burden, the percentage of borrowers that defaulted on their student debts also rose - from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 8.8 percent in 2009.

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been driven by many frustrations, originating from across American society. But perhaps one of the most common complaints has been that of overwhelming student loan burdens.

“I have ~$75k in student loans. I will default soon. My cosigner, my father, will be forced to take my loans. He will default as well. I’ve ruined my family because I tried to rise above my class,” writes one testimonial on the 99 percent website on Wednesday.

The 99 percent website is one of the places where the Occupy Wall Street movement first got its inspiration from.

“I am a young medical professional who BARELY makes it paycheck-to-paycheck because I have OVER $200,000.00 in student loan debt,” says another testimonial on the website Tuesday. “I pay almost $1,000 a month just in student loan repayment. I will have to do so for the next 30-years. How will I ever afford to buy a house, have children, or save for the future?”

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