19 Alarming Facts About The Crushing Weight Of Student Loans

student loan debt occupy wall street

Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Last week, Obama proposed his new “Pay As You Earn” plan to help relieve student debt.The proposal would cap a person’s payments at 10 per cent of their income and begin to take effect in 2012.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is also creating “Know Before You Go,” a tool for students to compare different loans that are available.

But the truth is, would these really be able to help fix the growing student loan problem?

There is always the idea to forgive all student loans, but that seems both impractical and unfair.

Over 36 million Americans have federal student loan debt

But among them, less than 450,000 even try to take advantage of the government's current income-based repayment program.

This is a big reason why Obama's plan may have very little effect; it improves a plan that few even know exists.

Source: White House

Total student loans will exceed $1 trillion — more than total credit card debt in America

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Department of Education, and private sources have confirmed this. And this debt can't be absolved in bankruptcy.

Source: USA Today

67% of students are graduating with student loan debts

62 per cent of public university students finish with debt.

72 per cent of private non-profit school students finish with debt.

96 per cent of private for-profit students finish with debt.

Source: The Project on Student Debt

Low income Pell Grant recipients are far more likely to have student loans of more than $50,000

The average student debt at graduation went up 5% in 2011

The Class of 2010 graduated owing an average of $25,250. This calculation doesn't even include the numbers from for-profit colleges.

Source: The Project on Student Debt

33% of graduates finished with private loans totaling $17.1 billion in 2008

The average private loan amount was $12,550.

In addition, private loans account for an estimated 22 per cent of all student debt for the Class of 2010.

Source: The Project on Student Debt

Tuition increased 4.5% at private four-year colleges, and even more at public universities

Source: College Board

Bates College in Maine has the highest comprehensive fees in the country.

Estimated expenses including tuition, fees, and room and board for the 2010-2011 year were $53,300.

Source: National centre for Education Statistics

28% of private college students are in schools that charge over $36,000 a year

Source: College Board

New Hampshire was the highest debt state

Students graduating from a school in this state in 2010 left with an average of $31,048 in debts.

Source: The Project on Student Debt

Utah has the lowest average student loan debt at $15,509

26 per cent of student loan borrowers who started repayment in 2005 have become delinquent on their loans

Since 2005, 15 per cent of student loan borrowers have defaulted on their loans

More than 1 in 10 students graduate with more than $40,000 or more in student loan debt

5.9 million adults age 25-34 are moving home with their parents

This is a 26 per cent increase from numbers in 2007, just before the economic downturn.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Four out of five graduates with high debt have private student loans

Private loans have high interest rates and few to no repayment options or protections that come with federal loans. 81% of students with more than $40,000 in debt have private student loans.

14.3% of recent graduates are unemployed

The Department of labour reported this number for the 20 to 24 age group this past September.

Unemployment for the nation is expected to remain over 8 per cent at least through 2014.

Source: Department of labour

Starting salaries for recent grads are dropping

The student loan default rate was 8.8% in 2009. Up 7% from the year before

Maybe it's time to go to school elsewhere

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