U.S. Student Loan Debt Has Doubled Since the Recession

Student loan debt in the U.S. has reached a record-breaking $1.465 trillion—more than double what it was at the end of the last recession in 2009—according to a Monday report from Bloomberg News. The problem is particularly acute for students who took out loans in 2012, Bloomberg notes: Due partially to high unemployment rates at the time, loans issued during that year have had the fastest default compared to every other post-recession year. It’s also proved to be a major problem for the elderly: As of this September, 1.8 million Americans over the age of 62 together owed $62.5 billion in federal student loans. These numbers could also spell trouble for the federal government, one economist at the Institute of International Finance explained. “Over 90 percent of student loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education,” Paul Della Guardia told Bloomberg, “meaning that if a recession causes a rise in youth unemployment and triggers mass defaults, this contingent liability could prove burdensome for the U.S. government budget.”