7 grim facts about student loans that will make you feel less alone
- Student loan debt is higher than ever, and millennials are struggling to deal with it.
- Two new studies take very different approaches, but come up with the similar conclusions: It's far from uncommon to be juggling expensive student loans.
- About a quarter of millennials are spending over $300 a month on their student loans, and are spending more on loans than basic necessities.
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Student loan debt is one of the big factors standing in the way of millennials making the progress their parents' generation had. Many have said they've put off major life events like getting married, starting a family, or buying a house because of their debt.
While new studies from JP Morgan Chase and Student Loan Hero take different approaches to gathering and analyzing data, the two sets of data draw very similar conclusions. Both sets of data show just how dire the student loan problem has become in the US.
The JP Morgan Chase study looked at 39 million accounts which showed electronic transfers for student loan payments between October 2012 and July 2018. This study was able to include families who may be paying on behalf of students, as well as show how liquid assets, spending, and other habits changed.
The Student Loan Hero survey looked at 533 responses from those who had graduated within the past five years.
If you're struggling with student loan debt, these studies' findings make it clear: You're not alone.
1. The surveys agree: About a quarter of borrowers pay over $300 each month
2. A full 78% of graduates said their student loan balances hindered their lives
3. One in four families spends 11% or more of their take-home pay on loan payments
4. Families are spending more on loans than basic necessities
5. About half (46%) of recent graduates say that their student loan balances are still greater than their annual salary
6. Over a third of borrowers aren't even working in the field they studied
7. As many as 59% of borrowers who have started repayment may not be making payments
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