June 26, 2012

About Half Say Paying Back Student Loans Makes It Harder to Make Ends Meet

48%

Many borrowers say the burden of paying back student loans has made it harder to pay their bills and make ends meet.

About half of those who took out college loans and are no longer in school (48%) say that paying back the loan has made it harder to make ends meet; 25% say it has made it harder to buy a home; 24% say it has had an impact on the kind of career they are pursuing; and 7% say it has delayed their getting married or starting a family.

A growing share of undergraduates take out student loans, and a rising share of families have outstanding student loans they are paying back. Outstanding student loan debt is now about 5% of all outstanding debt in the household sector—more than double its share a decade ago.

The cost of a college education—at both public and private institutions—has roughly tripled since 1980 in inflation-adjusted dollars. The typical student who graduates from a four-year college with an outstanding loan starts out with a record balance of $23,000. Read More