U.S. student loan ABS is poised for growth this year, according to Standard & Poor's. A combination of record college attendance, rising tuition costs - above the federal loan limits - and an increasing market comfort in private loan products are helping to fuel the private student loan market, the rating agency found.

While fewer borrowers are expected to consolidate their student loans, in part because of rising student loan interest rates, that decline in issuance should be offset by positive demographics, new ratings on municipal programs and increases in corporate issuance, according to S&P. Issuance is expected to be up by 5% in 2006, to reach $72.5 billion, compared to $69 billion of student loan ABS issuance seen in 2005.

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