Americans owe a staggering $1.3 trillion in student loans — a debt load that looks set to not just grow, but also pile up faster in coming years.
Yet, even with economists and politicians across party lines raising concerns about the swell in outstanding student debt, some experts say it's too early to conclude the loans are dampening the economic recovery.
"I think the evidence that this is having a drag on the economy is unclear as of now," said Andrew Kelly, director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute, on CNBC's "Power Lunch."
"More student debt means that more people are getting an education," he said Wednesday. "People who get an education have higher wages. They pay more in taxes; they buy more things."