It's interesting to watch some of the terms bandied about in headline news. For example, the LA Times headline reads S&P says student loan debt could be next financial bubble.
Next? Could Be?
What with the word "next"? Also what's with the words "could be"? Without a doubt student loans are in a bubble and have been for many years. The source of the problem, as it always is with financial bubbles, is cheap money, loans to nearly anyone, and in the case of student loans, no way to discharge the debt, even in bankruptcy.
From the article ...
The Next "Debt Bomb""Student-loan debt has ballooned and may turn into a bubble," S&P said. "There are more defaults and downgrades for some student loan asset-backed securities."
Federal and private student-loan debt is approaching $1 trillion and surpassed credit-card debt for the first time in 2010, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, a college grant and loan website. Under U.S. law, student-loan debt -- unlike credit-card borrowings -- can rarely be discharged in bankruptcy court.
President Barack Obama last month proposed linking federal aid to a college's ability to control tuition costs. The plan calls for increasing campus-based aid only for schools that limit tuition-cost increases and penalizing those that don't.
4 of 5 Bankruptcy Attorneys Report Major Jump in Student Loan Debtors Seeking HelpGrowing numbers of Americans are finding themselves bankrupt, with their college diplomas partially to blame.
Slightly more than 80 percent of bankruptcy attorneys say the number of their potential clients with student loan debt have increased "significantly" or "somewhat" in the past three to four years, according to a survey by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. And there's little hope those debtors will get out of their obligations; 95 percent of bankruptcy attorneys surveyed said that very few student loan debtors will be discharged from their loan as a result of undue hardship.
"Take it from those of us on the frontline of economic distress in America: This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy," William E. Brewer, Jr., president of the NACBA said in a statement accompanying the survey.
With so many college graduates burdened with so much debt, the potential for bankruptcies is huge. Nearly 25 percent of bankruptcy attorneys said they've seen potential student loan client cases surge by 50 to more than 100 percent, according to the NACBA survey. That despite the number of Americans that filed for bankruptcy overall falling last year, according to The New York Times.
Americans that graduated college with loans in 2010 owe an average of about $25,000 -- a five percent boost from the year before, according to The Project on Student Debt. In addition, because they faced an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent upon graduation they're at a disadvantage when it comes to paying back the loans.
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