For the first six months of 2013, things were looking up for Americans with student debt. The student loan delinquency rate fell for two quarters in a row, from a high of 11.7 percent at the end of 2012 to 10.9 percent in the second quarter of 2013. But don’t break out the champagne just yet.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today that the percentage of student loan balances delinquent for 90 or more days reversed course last quarter, climbing to a 20-year high of 11.8 percent. That's more than double the delinquency rate during the mid-2000s, suggesting the improving economy has done little to help the millions of Americans still struggling with soaring college tuition and ever-costlier student loans.