Even as Americans whittle down other forms of debt, students continue to pile on loans to pay for college and graduate school.
Total student debt rose more than 3% to $904 billion in the first quarter, continuing a trend in which outstanding educational loans have surged by $663 billion since 2003, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The rise in student debt contrasted with a decline in overall indebtedness among American consumers. Total household debt declined $100 billion, or 0.9%, to $11.4 trillion, according to the New York Fed.
Household debt is down $1.5 trillion since its peak in the third quarter of 2008. Student debt has risen by $293 billion in that time.
"Student loan debt continues to grow even as consumers reduce mortgage debt and credit card balances," said Donghoon Lee, a senior economist at the New York Fed. "It remains the only form of consumer debt to substantially increase since the peak of household debt in late 2008."
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