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Published November 29, 2012, 07:01 PM

Student loan delinquency is at an all-time high

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- One issue for some students is the amount of debt they rack up, and how they will ever pay it back. Student loan delinquency has reached an all-time high, even passing credit cards for the first time.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- One issue for some students is the amount of debt they rack up, and how they will ever pay it back. Student loan delinquency has reached an all-time high, even passing credit cards for the first time.

11% of student loan balances are now considered delinquent, that means they are 90 days or more behind on payment. Students here at NDSU say they're all too familiar with these concerns. For many students, loans are the only way to afford college.

Marisha Khunger/Student: "I obviously got a little bit of financial aid every semester, and then we take out loans to kind of cover the rest of it."

But paying those back after graduation is another story. Student loan delinquency is at an all-time high of 11%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

It now surpasses all other types of debt, including, for the first time, credit cards.

Khunger: "You hear these horror stories about the banks telling people they have to pay thousands of dollars a month. And I think we're all kind of worried about that."

Sebastian Benzi/NDSU Student: "If you can't find a job in your specific field and you just end up working at a job that doesn't pay as much as you expected, and you've been living above your means for a long time, you're gonna get behind on payments."

Sebastian Benzi is already taking steps to make sure that doesn't happen to him. Though he hasn't yet graduated, he's making loan payments with money he earns at his part-time job.

Benzi: "I just don't wanna go out of school with a ton of debt. And then it really sets you behind in life."

Though these nationwide numbers are daunting, student government representative Robert Lauf says North Dakota students are in a pretty good position.

Robert Lauf/NDSU Student Gov.: "It's not a great economy nationally, but luckily we're in a state like North Dakota where our leadership has led us in a place where there are jobs available."

For many, that job out of college means the difference between paying back loans or falling behind on payments.

And the fed says that 11% figure is actually a conservative estimate.

It doesn't account for loans that are under deferment or grace periods, so they say the real rate could be about twice that.

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