Student-loan debt has continued to grow despite a financial crisis that constrained credit elsewhere, and the increasing burden amid high unemployment is driving at least part of the protests among the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Last year, Americans began to owe more on their student loans then their credit cards, with student debt reaching the $1 trillion mark. Many have flocked to higher education during the down economy, only to find themselves still unemployed or underemployed.
In general, college graduates have held up better in this recession than those with only a high school degree. But the cost of education was at the root of many of the Occupy attendees’ complaints.
Some borrowers at the park took issue with the repayment terms of student loans, which may balloon when deferred or defaulted and may not be forgiven in cases where the borrower dies.