[... There is] a new group of Americans-parents struggling to pay off student loans even as their children take on new debts to pay for their own schooling. Student loans were once thought of as temporary. But for some Americans, they're becoming a lifetime-or even a multigenerational-burden, as parents become unable to help their children pay for tuition, forcing the children to take on even more debt themselves.
The New York Federal Reserve, which tracks the data, reports that student loan debt is the only form of consumer debt that has grown since the peak of consumer debt in 2008. What's more, the amount owed in student loans is now greater than both auto loans and credit cards, making student loan debt the largest form of consumer debt outside of mortgages.