…Is really all I’ve got to say about the New York Fed’s latest Household Debt and Credit Report, which gave us fourth quarter 2013 data on America’s household debt balances and delinquency rates.
2012 saw the delinquency rate for student loan balances spike above 10 percent, and it stayed there all last year. I’m a little surprised and kinda thought it would’ve dropped more in Q4. Looks like that didn’t happen.
According to the report, student loans accounted for $113 billion in household credit growth last year, 63 percent of the total (I gather the NY Fed’s sample underestimates the data).
According to ED’s portfolio data, 4.4 million guaranteed-loan debtors were in total default at the end of last year, and Federal Direct Loan Program defaulters grew by 300,000 to 2.4 million in the last six months of 2013. There’re certainly some duplicates there, but these loans don’t look like they’re going to be repaid.
I’m surprised we’re still not hearing about this much in the news. It’s like these people don’t exist.
[UPDATE: Even the Times slipped when reporting on the credit update:
Some kinds of debt, like car loans and mortgages, may be a positive sign that people are investing in the future. Other kinds, like student loan debt, can put a damper on the economy by suppressing discretionary spending for years.
So much for the human capital theory.]