Total outstanding student loans in the U.S. have grown to the point of having potential far-reaching effects on the financial system, an official from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told bankers this past week.

Following his announcement that student-loan debt has topped $1 trillion, Rohit Chopra, the CFPB's student loan ombudsman, said the market was now larger than previous estimates. Chopra said the increasing debt, mostly from federal student loans, could hamper the housing market recovery in the near term, and have long-lasting effects on other bank products. (The bureau's estimates of total student loan debt came from a joint study with the Department of Education.)

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