With the average starting salary for recent college graduates up five percent over the last year and sustained downward trends in credit card debt, young people may be on better economic footing than in recent years. But total outstanding student loan debt topped $1 trillion in 2012, spurring concerns about whether rising debt levels will depress new household formation and delay a full housing recovery.
Data detailing average starting salary for recent college graduates is taken from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) April 2013 Salary Survey. Information on credit card debt levels for young households comes from the February 1, 2013 Pew Research Center report, “Young Adults After the Recession: Fewer Homes, Fewer Cars, Less Debt.” Average student loan debt by age group is tracked by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and our data is taken from their “Student Loan Debt by Age Group” webpage. We pulled unemployment rate data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Current Population Survey for people ages 20 to 24 between 1999 and 2013. The pie chart representing student loan delinquency and repayment status is slighted altered from its original source – the February 28, 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of New York “Household Debt and Credit: Student Debt” report by Donghoon Lee. Credit score requirement information is adapted from a slide attached to Governor Elizabeth Duke’s speech at the Housing Policy Executive Council on May 9, 2013 – “A View from the Federal Reserve Board: The Mortgage Market and Housing Conditions.”