U.S. student loan debt rose to a record $1.2 trillion for the first quarter ended March 31, following a $31 billion jump, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported.   Not including mortgages, student loan debt surpasses all other types of consumer credit - including credit card debt and auto loans. Student loan debt has soared in recent years even as total consumer debt is down from its peak in 2008.

Senate Democrats, aware of growing public concern over student loan debt, are making the topic one of their top election year pushes and expect to vote next month on legislation to allow for refinancing at lower rates.

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