Struggling to repay student loan debt? At least you can take some solace in the fact that you’re not alone: a recent survey by LendEDU details the degree to which student loans affect the U.S. economy, and it’s really not pretty. The study shows that US Borrowers owe $1.4 Trillion In Student Loans alone.
The survey found that student loan debt affects more than 44 million borrowers in the country, who owe an aggregate of nearly $1.4 trillion. This staggering sum represents more than Americans owe either in credit card debt or auto loans. These numbers are perhaps unsurprising amidst skyrocketing tuition costs; in-state tuitions at public schools reached an average of $20,090 this year (a 2.6% increase), while tuitions at private schools hit $45,370 (a 3.4% increase).
There are, however, some glimmers of hope in the report. Despite tuition increases, the average debt incurred by graduating students in the class of 2016 ($27,975) actually fell slightly by 1.5% relative to their class of 2015 counterparts, though that fact may not do much to assuage students’ sticker shock. Additionally, as the question of student debt begins to come to the political forefront, many states are starting to look at policies that might help bring down these outrageous costs. In one example, students in New York state will now be able to attend public colleges and universities tuition-free if their families earn less than $125,000 per year.
If you’re thinking of taking out loans to finance your education, beware that some schools (like the highly publicized Corinthian Colleges case) may be looking to take advantage of you to turn a profit. You should make an effort to ensure that your degree program is legitimate, including verifying that the school is properly accredited. Check out this site for a few tips on how to evaluate programs that might look too good to be true.