Soaring student loan debt has bankers nervous

As the cost of an education rises and students borrow to cover the costs, lenders worry about recouping funds.

The Pulse is down today on concerns about spiraling student loan debts.

Today Mark Greene, the CEO of the credit score agency FICO, told Yahoo Finance that two-thirds of bank risk professionals recently surveyed think delinquencies on student loans will rise in 2012.

FinAid.org Publisher Mark Kantrowitz projects that the average graduating senior in 2012 will step into the real world more than $28,000 in the hole, which would explain the soon-to-be trillion dollars of outstanding student loans Americans are carrying. If you want to see something scary, click here to see the running tally of outstanding student loan debt tick up $2,800 each second.

This probably wouldn’t be such a problem if grads could get good employment and start paying down their loans, but finding a job has become a challenge even for the well-educated. Holders of bachelor degrees typically don't have to worry much about unemployment, but recent college graduates find themselves struggling to get work. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found 8.9 percent of four-year-degree recipients jobless -- a number they called “unacceptable” in their recent study “Hard Times” of unemployment amongst individual college majors.

When you add in recent increases in credit card debt (up 8.5 percent from October to November) and renewed worries about future foreclosure numbers, you can see why bankers are nervous.

About the author

Joel Patterson is the Associate Producer of Marketplace Money.

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