The Student Loan Debt Crisis

Student loan debt is on the minds of millions of Americans, including students, their parents, financial institutions, and government officials, all of whom are trying to deal with the growing debt crisis.

college_debt.jpgRecent statistics are clear that this issue affects a large segment of the country with approximately 37 million Americans living with outstanding student loan debt. This isn’t a new problem, in fact 60% of these people are adults age 30 and over and they are responsible for 610 billion in outstanding student loan debts. More recent grads who are under 30 make up the remaining 40% and account for another $292 billion. About a decade ago the number of college dropouts who took out loans were less than 25%, today that number has risen to 30% implying that college dropouts are on the rise.

These are staggering numbers, for sure, but what’s even more concerning is the recent increase in college dropout rates among those who are carrying student loan debt. About a decade ago the number of college dropouts who took out loans were less than 25%, but today that number has risen to 30%. The reason this is so concerning for many is the fact that those who do not have a college degree have a much harder time finding a good paying job that allows them to avoid default and repay their college loans. We know this because a study conducted in 2010 found that individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 with a bachelor’s degree earned 114% more than those without a degree.

Whether you are a graduate or not, many student loan borrowers find themselves confused about the pay back process. Recent data suggests that approximately 65% of student loan borrowers are surprised by their amount of debt and the rules for paying them back. Also, about one-third of all loan borrowers wish they would have better educated themselves prior to taking out loans, majored in something that would have eventually resulted in a high paying career, and pursued smarter financial aid options and scholarships.

As you can see, this is not a new issue, but it’s also one that isn’t going away anytime soon. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself now, while there’s still time to make good decisions that can have a positive impact on your life after college. If you’d like to see some more statistics that can help you navigate your way through student loans, visit American Student Assistance.


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