As evidence of the “coming student loan apocalypse,” Shahien Nasiripour provides data about the astounding growth in student loan debt. As you can see in the chart above, average federal student loan debt per borrower has risen more than 50 percent between 2007 (when it was $18,233) and 2014 (now $27,481).*
That’s what students (and their families owe). By way of comparison, in terms of ability to pay, what’s happened to workers’ pay in the United States during that same period? Well, it’s only gone up (in nominal, not real, terms) 16 percent (from $702.40 in July 2007 to $843.50 July 2014).
In other words, students and their families’ ability to service their student loans is falling further and further behind the amount of debt their forced to take on in order to pay for their education.
Something has to give. . .
*Total federal student loans have grown even more: by an extraordinary 112.5 percent over that same period.