The student loan 'financial disaster': By the numbers - The Week The good news: More students are going to college. The bad news: More students are taking out loans to do so. Last June, for the first time ever, Americans' student loan debt outstripped their credit card debt. This year, total student loan debt is expected to cross the $1 trillion mark. $24,000 Average amount owed by indebted college students who graduated last year. "Default rates are rising, especially among those who attended for-profit colleges," says Tamar Lewin in The New York Times. "In some circles, student debt is known as the anti-dowry." 9% Approximate percent of those enrolled in higher education institutions who attend for-profit colleges 6 % Percent that college costs have risen, every year, over the past decade. "Today's college student can expect to still be paying down loans when THEIR kids go to college,"