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The burden of increased student loan debt

Recent statistics about Americans' debt indicates improvement on some indicators and raises concern in some areas. Of particular concern are the figures related to student loan indebtedness and its impact on young people's likelihood of buying a home in Arizona or elsewhere.

The percentage of student loans delinquent by 90 days or more increased by the end of 2014, reaching the highest level in a year. Student loan indebtedness totals a record $1.16 trillion. This student loan debt burden generates concern because Americans with student loan debt take out fewer mortgages than people without such debt. Repayment problems seem to interfere with younger Americans' ability or willingness to establish a household.

Delinquency rates for credit cards, mortgages and home equity lines of credit fell in the fourth quarter of 2014, while over the same period the amount of debt in each category increased. Only 7.3 percent of the $700 billion in credit card balances and 3.1 percent of the $8.17 trillion in mortgages are 90 days or more overdue. The delinquency rate for auto loans increased to 3.5 percent. Overall, total household debt rose to $11.8 trillion.

Individuals who find themselves in the delinquent category for credit card, mortgage or auto loan debt might consider seeking counsel from an attorney with experience in debt management, financial planning and bankruptcy. An attorney could inform debtors of their rights, identify possible avenues to pursue and explore various methods to reach different outcomes. Debtors considering bankruptcy may talk to an attorney to learn about alternative remedies, required steps and the consequences of filing.

Source: ABC News, "Large Student Debt Load Limits Young Americans' Home-Buying," Christopher S. Rugaber, Feb. 15, 2015

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