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Inside the Vault | Spring 2013

Economic Snapshot

Student Loan Debt

Current Economic Data


Q1-’12 Q2-’12 Q3-’12 Q4-’12
Growth Rate—Real GDP 2.0% 1.3% 3.1% 0.4%*
Inflation Rate—Consumer Price Index 2.3% 1.0% 2.1% 2.2%
Civilian Unemployment Rate 8.3% 8.2% 8.0% 7.8%

*Third estimate
SOURCE: GDP, Bureau of Economic Analysis; www.bea.gov.
Unemployment and consumer price index, Bureau of Labor Statistics; www.bls.gov.

1. Based on the map below, how does average student loan debt per borrower vary across states?

Average student loan debt varies widely across states. Wyoming has the least, followed by the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The highest averages occur mainly in California and on the East Coast.

Average Student Loan Debt

SOURCES: www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/reswkpap/pdf/rwp%2012-05.pdf?wf=rs082712; Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel and Equifax.

2. Based on the map below, how do student loan delinquency rates vary across states?

Student loan delinquency rates vary widely across states. With a few exceptions (e.g., the Midwestern states of Michigan and Indiana), northern states have lower delinquency rates than southern states.

Student Loan Delinquency Rates

SOURCES: www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/reswkpap/pdf/rwp%2012-05.pdf?wf=rs082712; Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel and Equifax

3. According to the chart below, how are student loan balances distributed by age?  

Approximately two-thirds of student loan balances are owed by people under 40, while nearly one-third are owed by people 40 and older.

Student Loan Balance by Age

SOURCES: http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2012/03/grading-student-loans.html; Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel and Equifax.

4. According to the graph below, how are past due student loan balances distributed by age?

Approximately 60 percent of past due student loan balances are owed by people under 40 and about 40 percent by people 40 and older.

Past Due Student Loan Balance by Age

SOURCES: Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel and Equifax; http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2012/03/grading-student-loans.html.

5. What is the trend in the amount of outstanding student loan debt?

Outstanding student loan debt has steadily increased in recent years—approaching $1 trillion in 2012.

Outstanding Student Loan Debt

SOURCE: Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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