U.S. students borrowed an unprecedented amount of money through federal loan programs last year, putting a huge burden on the backs of young people and potentially placing a drag on the economy in the future, the USA Today reported Wednesday.
The amount of student loans taken out last year surpassed 100 billion dollars for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed 1 trillion dollars for the first time this year, the report quoted federal sources as saying.
Full-time undergraduates borrowed an average 4,963 dollars in 2010, up 63 percent from a decade earlier after adjusting for inflation, the report said. The portion of borrowers in default -- more than nine months behind on payments -- rose from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 8.8 percent in 2009.
Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, according to the report. This would affect the young generation's life style and consumption behavior, like delaying life-cycle events such as purchasing cars and properties, getting married and having children, which would in turn impact the overall demand for commodities and put a drag on the economy.