College Guide


August 10, 2010 2:17 PM Student Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Card Debt

By Daniel Luzer

Americans now owe more in student loans than they do on their credit cards. According to an article by Mary Pilon in the Wall Street Journal:

Americans owe some $826.5 billion in revolving credit, according to June 2010 figures from the Federal Reserve. (Most of revolving credit is credit-card debt.) Student loans outstanding today — both federal and private — total some $829.785 billion.

This happened for two reasons. The first is that the recession has made Americans thriftier and more concerned with credit card debt. This means they’re working on paying off existing debt and also reducing their credit card spending.

This has also resulted, however, from the high cost of college and years of easy lending for education costs.

And debt, after all, is still debt, no matter what you bought with it.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Seth on August 10, 2010 6:52 PM:

    "And debt, after all, is still debt, no matter what you bought with it."

    That's seems true and wise, but not true if you think about it. Well spend educational debt will move a student up the socio-economic ladder, while credit card purchases tend to improve our standing only fleetingly. Also as I tell students, considering college with debt, "They can seize your house, your car, or your boat, but they can never seize your diploma."

  • Tomas on March 19, 2012 1:56 AM:

    Lots of students think that getting a loan is a must when taking higher education, but they are not aware that there are lots of disadvantage in loans when you do not have a steady income. For instance when getting credit card, most banks do not explain the disadvantage of credit card loans. This is something all students need to be aware of, because they might end up burying themselves in debts while studying.