COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — Student loan debt in the United States has ballooned to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion, growing more than $833 billion over the last decade, according to a data from global information services company Experian.
Roughly 13 percent of American consumers spanning from the Silent Generation to Generation Z have at least one student loan on file, Experian found.
The average number of student loans has jumped from 3.7 per person up from 2.4 in 2007, while the average total student loan balance is more than $34,000.
Data shows the largest average outstanding balance — $39,802 – is held by Generation X. Generation Y, meanwhile has the largest number of loans – nearly four and a half per person – and Generation Z has the highest number of loans currently in deferment, almost 80 percent.
While student loans constitute the largest amount of non-household debt and the fastest growing debt segment, fewer borrowers are falling behind on such loans: the percentage of late payments has dropped 10.1 percent since 2009, according to Experian.
“Student loan balances are on the rise, which is a result of the increasing cost of higher education. Even with this number moving upward, the data is showing a decrease of delinquencies, which means that consumers are managing their loan payments better than they have in the past,” said Michele Raneri, Experian vice president of analytics.
The survey also found borrowers on the East Coast hold higher student loan balances than the rest of the country, with
Gainesville, Florida, topping the list at $42,400, and Glendive, Montana boasting the lowest average balance at $20,200.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)