The U.S. Congressional Budget Office has predicted total student loan inflows will be $50.6 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

With the administrative costs of only $1.9 billion, the U.S. government’s profit on student debt comes to almost $49 billion.

That’s a lot of Ramen noodles.

This puts student loans more than $10 billion ahead in profits when compared to other industry giants like Apple and Exxon, observes Steve Goldstein of the WSJ. The companies project year-end profits of $37.3 billion and $35.4 billion, respectively.

Goldstein reports that U.S. student debt has surged 46% since the end of the recession, becoming second only to mortgages in its contribution to household debt.

Total student loan debt sits at $986 billion.

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