- About one-third of adults under age 30 have student loan debt. Among adults ages 18 to 29, 34% say they have outstanding student loans for their own education.
- In 2016, the amount students owed varied widely, especially by degree attained.The median borrower with outstanding student loan debt for their own education owed $17,000 in 2016. The amount owed varied considerably, however. A quarter of borrowers with outstanding debt reported owing $7,000 or less, while another quarter owed $43,000 or more. (Because of changes to the survey questions, it is not possible to determine the amount owed in 2018.)
- Young college graduates with student loans are more likely than those without loans to report struggling financially. Student loan holders give a more downbeat assessment of their personal financial situation compared with their peers who don’t have outstanding student debt. College graduates ages 25 to 39 with loans are more likely than graduates without loans to say they are either finding it difficult to get by financially or are just getting by (22% vs. 11%).
- Young college graduates with student loans are more likely to live in a higher-income family than those without a bachelor’s degree.
- Compared with young adults who don’t have student debt, student loan holders are less upbeat about the value of their degree. About a third (36%) of those ages 25 to 39 with at least a bachelor’s degree and outstanding student loan debt say that the lifetime financial costs of their degree outweigh the benefits.
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