Debt Collectors Salivating Over Student Loans

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In a column in the debt collection trade publication InsideARM.com, consultant Jerry Ashton described a group of New York University students protesting student debt with their debt loads written on their T-shirts as "lip-smacking."

He also referred to loans given to applicants with low credit scores and high likelihood of entering into default as "good news in the pipeline."

"We are in for a lifetime of employment!" he wrote.

Ashton told Andrew Martin of The New York Times he was being ironic—but ironic or candid, his statement speaks to the growing problem of student debt in the United States.

In 2010, the total U.S. student debt load was $800 billion, outpacing credit card debt for the first time. This year, it topped $1 trillion. One in six borrowers is currently in default. Added together, the value of defaulted student loans is $76 billion.

According to the Project on Student Debt, Idaho has the 18th highest average student debt at $24,178, and the 11th highest percentage of students with a debt load at 66 percent.

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