The US student debt crisis is one of the most hot button issues on this year’s presidential campaign trail.
Today, there are 40 million people in the US who collectively owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. Almost 70% of students who earn Bachelor’s degrees have a least some student loan debt and on average, they’re graduating with $35,000 worth of it. Back in 1993, $10,000 was the average amount of debt for a graduating college student. Finally, American workers often don’t earn enough to repay their debt, even if they’re working in the fields in which they’ve earned a degree. Of those who began paying their loans back in 2011, close to 14% had defaulted within two years.
A video posted to Refinery29 explains that part of the blame lies with the American economy itself. Workers haven’t been receiving raises, which means there’s less money to save for college tuition, leading to more loans. Additionally, tuition costs have been rising due to there being less state and federal funding for state schools since 2008.
Some are slowly paying back their student loans while juggling the rising costs of everything else from rent to car payments and sometimes the difficult question of whether or not paying student loans back should take precedence over saving for retirement often comes up.
Have you managed to pay off your student loans? Do you have any helpful tips for people who are still struggling to do so? And do you think tuition costs will continue to rise in the years to come?