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Student Loan Debt: Latest Stats


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Author Topic: Student Loan Debt: Latest Stats  (Read 46 times)
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« on: October 12, 2015, 07:23:29 pm »

From the Associated Press 10-11-15 byline Josh Boak
America's crushing surge of student debt, now at $1.2 trillion, has bred a disturbing new phenomenon: School loans that span multiple generations within families. Weighed down by their own loans, many parents lack the means to fund their children's educations without sinking even deeper into debt.

Data analyzed exclusively by The Associated Press, along with surveys about families and rising student debt loads, show that:

School loans increasingly belong to Americans over 40. This group accounts for 35 percent of education debt, up from 25 percent in 2004, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Contributing to this surge: Longer repayment schedules, more midcareer workers returning to school and additional borrowing for children's education.
Generation X adults those from 35 to 50 years old owe about as much as people fresh out of college do. Student loan balances average $20,000 for Generation X. Millennials, who are 34 and younger, have roughly the same average debt, according to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Gen-X parents who carry student debt and have teenage children have struggled to save for their children's educations. The average they have in college savings plans is just $4,000, compared with a $20,000 average for teenagers' parents who aren't still repaying their own school loans, Pew found. A result is that many of their children will need to borrow heavily for college, thereby perpetuating a cycle of family debt.
Student debt is surpassing groceries as a primary expense, with the gap widening most for younger families. The average college-educated head of household under 40 owes $404 a month in student debt payments, according to an AP analysis of Fed data. That's slightly more than what the government says the average college-educated family spends at the supermarket.

The multigenerational debt cycle reflects a rush to pursue college as a path to middle class security. Roughly 25 years ago, federal policies began encouraging borrowing on a mass scale to cover soaring college costs. Policymakers figured borrowers could afford the debt because college degrees would all but guarantee comfortable incomes.


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