The number grows to a rate of $90 billion annualized. This can also be considered a stimulus as this $90 billion goes towards faculty salaries, rents, utilities, cleaning companies, accounting firms, In addition, students typically borrow more than their tuition for living expenses such as rent, food, books, supplies, clothes, auto repair (I fixed my brakes with student loan money lol) and even vacations! I know quite a few of my fellow class mates who went on trips with the student loan money they were given. I hope they enjoyed those trips because the party is over for most of them.
Some more facts on the student loan debt timebomb:
Total student loan debt: $864 billion outstanding
Federal backed student loan debt: $665 billion
Private student loan debt: $168 billion
At the current rate total outstanding student loan debt will be $1.76 trillion by 2020. 90b X 10 years = 900 billion. Throw in compounding interest on deferred and loans in default and the number will easily break $2 trillion within the next decade. Im confident that this number will not be reached as the student loan debt binge party will come to an end. If it doesn't then we have bigger problems as we will have a generation of slaves stuck in nondischargeable debt, paying interest on bonds to fund the lives of boomers that horrifically fucked up the nations balance sheet. I've mentioned this before that because the federal government owns the bonds that the proceeds will be distributed based on where the federal expenditures are due. Over $2 trillion of federal expenditures go towards offense (its not defense) spending, social security and medicare.
In the event that the student loan bubble continues and generations X, Y, and Z become debt slaves for life with no true opportunity to prosper, then the US will have a new export: economic refugees as more will be fleeing the country in pursuit of life, liberty and property. I am considering the ex-pat option myself. Today the gas station employee which I have smoked cigarettes with for over a decade told me he is leaving for Indonesia next year for good. Imagine that, Indonesia instead of America. Something unimaginable 10 years ago. He also added that over half of the people that came over since the early 1990's have either returned home or are in the process of leaving. My parents are on there way to moving back to Greece (peaceful west coast part, no riots lol).
Student loan debt growing at a $90 billion dollar annual rate will have terrible implications for the future of the country. If serious and true reform is not undertaken then this will leave a substantial portion of an entire generation indebted, enslaved, depressed and ruined. Either they will flee, pay back their loans with glee, or despair in their hardship and austerity.