As of March 31, 2016, student loan debt was approximately $1.3 trillion, up $72 billion from the prior year. Total consumer debt, ex-mortgages, stood at $3.9 trillion at the end of March 2016.
Growing Student Debt Balance
Student debt will typically move counter-cyclical to markets and other debt categories that would normally decrease in times of economic stress as decreased job prospects push more individuals back to the classroom. Another factor is the ever increasing cost of higher education, requiring more borrowing and borrowing by students who may not have needed loans at past tuition levels.