By Julia Lawrence. US Banks are now starting to feel a real pinch of the student loan crisis as the number of students who default on their debt is skyrocketing. In just the first two months of 2013, banking institutions have had to write off more than $3 billion in student loan debt, a 36% increase over the same period last year. The data comes courtesy of a report by the credit reporting agency Equifax, which also shows that while part of the increase could be attributed to continuing economic malaise, other factors play a role as well. The borrowing volume is up over the past year as more people secure loans to go back to school to wait out a weak job market and as college tuition continues to grow. Read more...