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Student loan deadbeats are older than you think

July 17, 2012: 4:55 PM ET

The largest share of student loan deadbeats are celebrating their 25th college reunions.

Borrowers age 40-49 have the highest proportion of loans that are at least 90 days behind, according to new data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And that's been true each quarter since 2005.

Here's a profile of who holds student loans as of the first quarter of 2012:

  • There are 14 million more student loan borrowers now than there were in 2005, for a total of 37 million.
  • About 25 million are age 39 and under.
  • More than 7 million are age 50 and older.

And then it comes to debt levels:

  • Thirty-somethings have the largest share of debt, about 1/3, or $307 billion. On average, their balance is $28,906.
  • Debt levels of those in their 50s increased to $106 billion, from $34 billion in 2005. The average balance is $23,183.
  • Those age 60-plus are now carrying more than $43 billion, up from $8 billion. Their average balance is $19,225.

The explosion in student loans -- as well as mounting delinquencies -- has some experts worrying that it's the next financial bubble to pop.

  • Who loves us, baby? China still does.

    The United States may be hurtling towards a fiscal cliff at the end of the year. But if the U.S. is Thelma then China is Louise. Despite continued fears about another debt ceiling debacle at the end of this year, China is buying U.S. Treasury debt like it's going out of style ... or like it's Facebook stock.

    The Treasury Department released its latest figures on foreign holdings of U.S. debt MORE

    - May 15, 2012 2:57 PM ET
    Posted in: , , ,
  • Americans buried under debt

    Lots of American families are underwater...and not just on their mortgages.

    About one out of every five U.S. households owe more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and other debts not backed by collateral than they have in savings and other liquid assets, according to a new University of Michigan report published Tuesday.

    The precariousness of Americans' financial situations has become increasingly on display since the mortgage crisis precipitated the Great MORE

    - May 8, 2012 4:26 PM ET
  • Making student loan payments more managable

    Many see the troubles some are having managing their student loans as an information problem, more than a financial one.

    That's because many borrowers don't know what resources are available to them to better manage their student loans. Some 27% of borrowers are behind in their payments, according to a recent report for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    It needn't happen in many cases, experts say. Those with federal student MORE

    - Mar 30, 2012 2:31 PM ET
  • The return of Simpson-Bowles

    More than a year has passed since the ambitious Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan went down in flames.

    In December of 2010, the plan fell short of the 14 votes required for the commission to present its recommendations to Congress for a legislative vote. Much lip service was paid to the "seriousness" of the plan. But most members of Congress gave it no serious consideration. Ditto for the White House.

    Now Simpson-Bowles is MORE

    - Mar 28, 2012 10:01 AM ET
  • How to avoid the looming budget train wreck

    Republicans desperately do not want to raise taxes on the über-rich. And Democrats certainly don't want to gut entitlement spending for the nation's most needy. But with the Bush tax cuts and Obama payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year, and automatic budget cuts tied to sequestration set to kick in at the beginning of next year, it's clear that Congress has to do something MORE

    - Mar 22, 2012 9:17 AM ET
  • Romney: My tax plan 'can't be scored'

    Like every Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney wants to cut a whole bunch of taxes.

    Just two of the more expensive provisions would reduce revenue by more than $3.4 trillion over a decade. Meanwhile, the campaign, and the candidate, insist that the plan is "budget neutral."

    So one would expect something of a plan to fill in that huge revenue hole created by the tax cuts.

    The campaign says the tax cuts will MORE

    - Mar 7, 2012 2:35 PM ET
  • Maybe China didn't like that S&P downgrade so much?

    China still owns a LOT of U.S. Treasury debt. But it looks like they got rid of more of it last year after Standard & Poor's stripped America of its triple-A credit rating than first thought.

    Every month, the Treasury Department puts out a report showing how much foreign countries hold in U.S. securities. The latest report came out in mid-February and showed that as of the end of December, China MORE

    - Mar 1, 2012 4:40 PM ET
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