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) -- American households have significantly cut back on debt in the four years since the crisis but students are still piling it on.


Federal Reserve's

quarterly report on

household debt and credit

revealed that student loan debt reached $904 billion in the first quarter, a $30 billion increase from the previous quarter.

Student debt is the only category of debt to have shown a substantial increase since the peak in 2008, expanding $293 billion, while other forms of debt fell a combined $1.53 trillion, according to the report.

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Moreover, students are falling behind in repaying their loans, with the 90-plus days delinquency rates for the category increasing from 6.13% in the first quarter of 2003 to 8.69% currently.

The delinquency rate for student loans is now higher than that of mortgages, auto loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).

According to the report, student loans was the only category to see an uptick in delinquency rates in the first quarter.

Younger workers have been facing difficult job conditions. The unemployment rate for workers between the ages of 20 and 24 stands at 13.2% as of April, compared to the national average of 8.1%.

Overall, household debt contracted $100 billion to $11.44 trillion. Mortgage balances fell 1% or $81 billion during the quarter.

The number of credit inquiries- an indication of demand for consumer credit- declined slightly by 0.5%.

Out of $11.44 trillion in consumer debt, roughly $1.06 trillion is currently delinquent, with $796 billion considered seriously delinquent.


Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.