Student Loan Debt Crisis

Student Loan Debt Crisis

Primary SourcesSecondary Sources

The student loan debt crisis has been identified as the United State’s next large-scale economic crisis. With federally guaranteed student loans topping $1 trillion and privately held student loans swelling to $165 billion in 2013, student loans are currently second only to mortgages as the largest source of consumer debt. In 2013, 7 million of the 40 million Americans burdened with student loan debt have already defaulted on their loans–high unemployment rates and a stagnant U.S. economy are an indication that default rates will continue to rise. Despite this, securities backed by student loans are all the rage on Wall Street. $5.6 billion in student loan backed securities were sold in 2013 with a strong demand for more. The factors evident in all great financial catastrophes—most notably risky lending practices spurred on by federal guarantees—are contained in the student loan market. Primary and secondary documents detailing the student loan market and the debt crisis that has all the makings of an economic meltdown are contained in this section.

Primary Sources

Government Documents/  Corporate Documents/   Speeches and Interviews/   Letters and Emails/   Multimedia

Government Documents

Costs and Policy Options for Federal Student Loan Programs.  Congressional Budget Office.  March 2010.

Student Loan Debt by Age Group.  Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  March 29, 2013.

U.S. House of Representatives.  113th Congress.  Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.  Washington:  GPO.  Aug. 1, 2013.

Higher Education Act of 1965.  20 U.S.C. (2013)

Department of Education.  Private Student Loans.  Aug. 29, 2012.

Department of Education.  Cohort Default Rates by school, lender, state and institution type.  2014.

Department of Education.  Cohort Default Rate Guide.  Revised Aug, 2006.

U.S. Senate.  Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Drowning in Debt:  Financial Outcomes of Students At For-Profit Colleges.  June 7, 2011.

U.S. Senate.  Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Drowning in Debt:  Financial Outcomes of Students At For-Profit Colleges.  Exhibits.  June 7, 2011.

National Bankruptcy Review Commission.  Report of the Bankruptcy Review Commission.  Discharge, Exceptions to Discharge and Objections to Discharge:  Dischargeability of Student Loans.  Ch. 1, Section 4.5.  Nov. 19, 1997.

Corporate Documents

Asset Backed Securities:  Student Loan Trusts.  Navient Solutions, Inc

Debt/Securities.  Nelnet, Inc.

Rating Action:  Moody’s takes rating actions on SLM private credit student loan securitizations.  Moody’s Investor Services.  Feb. 25, 2014.

Sallie Mae Corporation (2014).  10-Q Quarterly Report June 30 2014.  Retrieved from SEC Edgar database.

Sallie Mae Coporation (2014). 10-Q Quarterly Report March 31 2014.  Retrieved from SEC Edgar database.

Sallie Mae Corporation (2013). 10-K Annual Report Dec. 31 2013.  Retrieved from SEC Edgar database.

Sallie Mae Corporation (2013).  !0-Q Quarterly Report Sept. 30 2013.  Retrieved from SEC Edgar database.

Sallie Mae Corporation (2012).  10-K Annual Report Dec. 31 2012.  Retrieved from SEC Edgar database.

Speeches and Interviews

Letters and Emails


Top 1,167 Complaints Against Sallie Mae.  Consumer Affairs.  2014.

Secondary Sources

Reports/   Books/   Articles/   Multimedia/   General Resources


Rating U.S. FFELP Student Loan Transactions.  DBRS.  Oct. 2006.

Lee, Stephanie and Egan, Max.  Student Loans and Student Loan Asset-Backed Securities:  A Primer.  NERA Economic Consultant.  June 10, 2009.

Lee, Donghoon.  Household Debt and Credit:  Student Debt.  Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  Feb. 28, 2013.

Private Loans:  Facts and Trends.  The Institute for College Access and Success.  June 2014.

Chopra, Rohit. “Student Debt Swells, Federal Loans Now Top a Trillion”. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  July 17, 2013.

Austin, Daniel A.  “The Indentured Generation: Bankruptcy and Student Loan Debt“.  Santa Clara Law Review, Vol. 53, No. 2. July 23, 2013.

Cooley, Amanda Harmon.  Promissory Education:  Reforming the Student Loan Counseling Process to Promote Informed Access and to Reduce Student Debt Burdens.  Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance:  University of Houston Law Center.  2013.

Loonin, Deanne.  The Sallie Mae Saga:  A Government-Created, Student Debt Fueled Profit Machine.  National Consumer Law Center. Jan. 2014.


Bitterman, Alex. The College Question: Why college (as we know it) isn’t working for the Millennial generation. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.  2013.

Fishbein, Mike.  Popping the Higher Education Bubble: How to Navigate the Impending Student Loan Crisis.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing.  2014.

Stewart, Chuck. Bankrupt Your Student Loans: And Other Discharge Strategies. AuthorHouse.  2006.

Warder, A.L. Fed Up With Debt: How to Save Thousands in Student Loans by Avoiding Federal Repayment Plans. Amazon Digital. 2014.


Simon, Ruth.  “Student Loan Securities Stay Hot”.  Wall Street Journal.  March 3, 2013.

Ellis, Blake.  “Private Student Loan Debt Reaches $150 billion”. CNN Money.  July 20, 2012.

Weismann, Jordan.  “Don’t Panic:  Wall St.’s Going Crazy for Student Loans, but This Is No Bubble”.  The Atlantic.  March 4, 2013.

Lorin, Janet.  “Student Loan Interest Rates to Rise with Treasury 10-year Note”.  Bloomberg.  May 3, 2014.

Thomason, Andy.  “Student Loan Default Rates Continue Steady Climb”.  Chronicle of Higher Education. Oct. 1, 2013.


General Resources

Student Debt Crisis

Student Debt and Education Justice Project

Project on Student Debt