Student loan debt is crippling young professionals, many of whom need several years to pay off their college costs.
But just how bad is the crisis? Well, it’s really bad. Here are a few top-line figures:
- Roughly 70 percent of American students graduate with a “significant amount” of loans.
- Student loan debt affects 44 million students, who hold nearly $1.5 trillion in total debt. That’s equivalent in value to the entire tax reform package signed by President Trump in December.
- The average student loan borrower holds more than $37,000 in debt—a $20,000 increase from 2005.
What can you buy with $37,000? Well, a lot. For comparison’s sake:
- A 20 percent down payment on a $185,000 home
- A brand-new Audi A4 ($36,000), with money left over
- A swimming pool ($35,000), with money left over
Instead, American students are swimming in an ocean of debt, which puts a major dent in their post-college budgets. According to the Federal Reserve, the average monthly student payment increased $227 in 2005 to nearly $400 in 2016. In addition to rent costs and other necessities, young professionals are often forced to spend more than $2,000 in any given month.
It’s no wonder that many millennials will have to put off retirement. Based on a NerdWallet study, most students who graduated from college in 2015 will have to delay retirement until the age of 75.
Student loan debt will hurt the U.S. economy for years to come.