The seriousness of student loans is a longstanding problem in higher education. Average student loan debt is now $25,250 and one in six families now have taken out loans to send their children to college. But now, apparently, student loans are not confined to college.

According to a piece by Annamaria Andriotis at Smart Money:

It used to be that families first signed up for education loans when their child enrolled in college, but a growing number of parents are seeking tuition assistance as soon as kindergarten. Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular. Your Tuition Solution, one of the largest lenders in this space, says demand for the upcoming year is already up: This month, the total dollar amount of loans families requested rose 10% compared to a year ago; at that pace, the company expects its total funding to rise to $20 million for 2012-13. Separately, First Marblehead, which exited the market in 2008, reentered last year as demand for loans began to rise.

No, no, no, no. This is not a good idea. Do not take out loans to send your child to kindergarten.

According to the article, the average cost of an American private school is now nearly $22,000 a year.

Ok, if you can’t afford to send your child to private school, send him to public school. That’s why we have them. They’re free. Totally free.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer