U.S. student loan debt overtakes credit card debt

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Business leaders across the country are warning of the dangers in massive student loan debt, which has overtaken credit card debt as the largest debt in the nation.

New York State and federal lawmakers have been inventing new loan forgiveness programs, but for many it’s not enough. Some programs fail to target the heart of the issue, and others don’t reach back to help those who already are suffering, they just aim to help protect those who will graduate in the future.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is launching a program which aims at providing full-service counseling for college students and grads struggling under the weight of massive loans. But the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo — which is part of the national network — is already offering those services to debt-strapped western New Yorkers.

Councelor Noelle Carter says if an individual has trouble paying back a student loan, chances are they’re having trouble with all of their finances.

“They may have taken out credit card debt to help supplement their living costs, and they may also not be investing in other assets,” Carter noted, saying that doesn’t contribute to the economy. “They may not be purchasing vehicles, they may not be purchasing homes. They are still living at home with their parents.”

Over 43,000,000 Americans are working to pay back some form of student debt, and more than one fourth of those borrowers are delinquent or in default on their loans.

“[This] is critical,” Carter said. “This student loan debt is probably going to be our next financial crisis if we don’t do something about it.”

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