American families made headway on paying down their debts between 2010 and 2013 – except when it came to borrowing for education, according to a new report from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Fewer families had any debt in 2013 than those who did in 2010, and the average debt held by borrowers dropped, too. That trend continued to some specific categories of debt, such as household loans, but reversed for education.
“More families held education loans in 2013 than in 2010, and those with education loans owed larger amounts on the loans,” states “Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances.” Twenty percent of families analyzed had education debt in 2013, up from 19.2 percent in 2010. The average debt student loan borrowers held was $28,900 in 2013 – up from $27,900, an increase of 5 percent in three years.
However, more debt was not necessarily a negative for families. Income levels for college degree holders also rose an average of 5 percent between 2010 and 2013, while levels fell as much as 17 percent, on average, for those with less education.
Publication Date: 9/11/2014