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Student loan nation

Americans are borrowing again. Consumer credit rose at a 3.8% annual rate in February. According to the Federal Reserve "non-revolving" consumer credit increased at a 7.7% annual pace while "revolving" credit dropped at a 4.1% rate.

Translation: Student loan borrowing is up sharply and credit card borrowing is down (for the second month in a row.) If you look at the chart the rise in consumer borrowing is almost all student loans, with some credit cards thrown in around the holiday. Forget the lure of the mall. These days people are borrowing to learn. Let's hope the debt pays off.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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