Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org and FastWeb.com, said student debt totals $850 billion, The Detroit Free Press reported. Revolving debt reported by the Federal Reserve Bank dropped to $827.8 billion in July.
With the recession forcing many to return to school, student borrowing rose 25 percent in 2009, skyrocketing to meet circumstantial demands of those who are out of work.
Concurrently, the recession has weighed heavily on consumer spending.
Tuition hikes have also outstripped inflation for the past 20 years, the newspaper said.
"Students are far worse off today with student loan debt," said Alan Collinge, who manages an online student forum called StudentLoanJustice.org.