Personal Finance

College students leaving school with higher debt

The price of a diploma

U.S. college students are leaving school with higher amounts of debt as they increase borrowing to keep up with rising tuition. Graduates of the class of 2012 who took loans for bachelor’s degrees owed an average of $29,400. The level of debt represents an average annual increase of 6 percent from the $23,450 incurred by borrowers who graduated in 2008, the last year the federal government reported the data, according to a report released by the Institute for College Access Success, an Oakland, Calif., nonprofit group.

Xbox is hot

Microsoft said it is selling every Xbox One player it can make after introducing the new game console Nov. 22. Sales are setting records, Microsoft said, though it did not provide specific sales numbers. Users have already spent more than 50 million hours on games and entertainment, Microsoft said.

New home purchases soar

Purchases of new homes surged in October by the most in three decades, signaling buyers are starting to take higher mortgage rates in stride. Sales jumped 25.4 percent to a 444,000 annualized pace, following a 354,000 rate in the prior month, which was the weakest since April 2012, figures from the Commerce Department show.

Mortgage servicing problems

Top U.S. banks, including Bank of America and Citigroup, failed to comply with some provisions of a government settlement to improve mortgage servicing practices, a monitor of the settlement said. Bank of America failed to file accurate documents in bankruptcy proceedings, and Citi’s mortgage unit, CitiMortgage, failed to notify borrowers about missing documents within 30 days of a request for a short sale, the monitor said. The two banks have submitted plans to fix those problems and are in the process of fixing earlier failures.