American Student Loan Debt Reaches $1.53 Trillion

The average amount of student loan debt Americans have is continuing to rise.

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According to Nitro College, a research group that provides insights on student loan debt, the cost of higher education has risen three times faster than any other school-related expenses.

The total amount of student loan debt rising by the minute as of May 28 at 11:33 a.m., was more than $1.53 trillion. From the statistics gathered by Nitro College, about one in four Americans have student loan debt, amounting to an estimated 44.7 million people in 2019. This averages about $37,172 per person.

“That’s up from $20,000 just 13 years ago,” Nitro College wrote. “And the mean debt for all people with outstanding student loans is $32,731. To put it in context, we looked at what else you could buy with that sum. Today’s average student loan balance could buy a brand-new Audi A4, pay for a 141-guest wedding, or score four 50-yard line tickets to the big game. It’s also equal to an 18% down payment on a $205,000 house – which was the median home value in the U.S. in November 2017.”

The average payment a student makes on loans comes to nearly $400 a month. This has jumped by nearly $200 from 2005.

Nitro College states that this money is debt from both young people fresh out of college and those who have been out of school for a decade or more.

“The standard repayment timetable for federal loans is 10 years, but research suggests it actually takes four-year degree holders an average of 19.7 years to pay off their loans,” Nirto College wrote.

In a survey by Nitro College, 41 percent of respondents said they would not be able to afford a $400 surprise emergency.

“Even fewer could handle a home repair or medical emergency, which can run into the thousands of dollars,” Nitro College wrote. “It’s hard to quantify the impact of this financial uncertainty, but money worries can take a heavy toll on health, work performance, and relationships.”

While the alarming rate of student loan debt and cost of college keep rising, more and more students are going to university right out of high school More than two-thirds of American high schoolers are choosing higher education, according to Nitro College. The researcher found that enrollment peaked in 2011 but has declined slightly in the past years.

“Student loan debt will continue to be a challenge for many Americans, but the issue has gained the attention of political and business leaders, and proposed remedies are coming from a variety of quarters,” Nitro College wrote.