An increasing number of student loan borrowers are struggling to repay their education debt as outstanding student loan balances nationwide increased by $13 billion in the third quarter of 2015, according to the New York Federal Reserve.
The percentage of student loan borrowers who are at least 90-day delinquent in payments rose to 11.6 percent during the third quarter of 2015, up from 11.5 percent the previous quarter. The Fed said the 11.6 percent number likely understates delinquency rates “because about half of these loans are currently in deferment, in grace periods or in forbearance and therefore temporarily not in the repayment cycle. This implies that among loans in the repayment cycle delinquency rates are roughly twice as high.”
Outstanding student loan balances increased to $1.20 trillion as of 30 September 2015. That’s higher than all other forms of individual debt (such as home equity, autos, and credit cards), except home mortgages.