With the economy stuck in the doldrums, now would seem like the perfect time to go back to school, right?
Maybe, but many people appear to be thinking that way, too, new data reveals.
More people these days owe more on student loans than they do on credit card accounts, research shows.
The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year, USA Today reports, citing Federal Reserve Bank of New York data.
That means Americans owe more on student loans than on credit cards.
Students are borrowing twice what they did 10 years ago, the College Board reports separately, USA Today adds.
That's bad news for many younger Americans, who are entering an already weak economy straddled with debt.
"Students who borrow too much end up delaying life-cycle events such as buying a car, buying a home, getting married (and) having children," says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, USA Today reports.
"It's going to create a generation of wage slavery," says Nick Pardini, a Villanova University graduate student in finance.
Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy and appears to be showing signs of recovery and fueling broader economic growth, even if slightly.
"Overall economic activity continued to expand in September, although many districts described the pace of growth as 'modest' or 'slight,'" the Federal Reserve reports in its Beige Book survey, according to Bloomberg.
"Contacts generally noted weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions."
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