College students and graduates are carrying a tremendous load of student debt, and credit cards are only adding to the pile.
The Class of 2017's student loan total isn't in yet, but college and scholarship site Cappex put the Class of 2016's student loan debt at an average of $37,172 per student. That's a 6% increase from 2015, with debt carried by 70.1% of all graduates. That's also up from $12,759 two decades ago, when just 54% of all students graduated with debt.
In May, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that total household debt increased by $473 billion within the last year to $12.73 trillion during the first quarter of 2017. That's above its previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008 and includes increases across the board. Student loan debt increased $83 billion to $1.34 trillion. Roughly 11% of student loans are past due, with 7.5% of credit-card debt similarly unpaid. In March, credit bureau Equifax noted that than 1.2 million student loans were taken out in the first three months of the year, accounting for $10.17 billion -- a 22% increase over the value of those loans at the same time last year.
While the job market has markedly improved since, say, 2009, it's improving the most slowly for those just getting out of school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the current unemployment rate at 4.4%, that jumps to 8.2% for people ages 20 to 24 -- or roughly the age of most recent college graduates. Only 70.4% of people that age are an active part of the workforce, compared to nearly 81.7% of those between 25 and 54. All of that is actually an improvement on what older Millennials faced just after the recession.