Student-Loan Debt Nears $1 Trillion

If you are a recent college grad, odds are you can relate to stories about your new student debt impacting your personal and professional life.

Student-loan debt is nearing $1 trillion, with two-thirds of college students graduating with an average debt of $24,000 — and for some, much more, according to a recent NPR story, “School Debt A Long-Term Burden For Many Graduates.”

In the article, two college grads are profiled whose debt is so overbearing, it starts to weigh on their relationships and the futures they had hoped their education would have afforded them.

One woman, a first generation college students, owes $160,000 for her undergraduate and law degree. She’s 31-years-old, married, and believes it might not be a possibility to start a family because they couldn’t afford to raise kids. Her monthly loan payments of over $1000 puts the pressure on her husband to pay most of their bills.

Another woman, who is also a first in her family to attend college, was motivated to earn a master’s degree to escape the paycheck-to-paycheck life she grew up in. However, now she is $85,000 in debt and says her job search is limited to ones that could pay back her debt. She’s decided to go back to school for her Ph.D on fellowship, which will defer her loans until graduation.

Both graduates are examples of students who enthusiastically attended college with a dream of a successful career and without a payment plan or financial skills. Students need to start learning about the cost of college and how to pay it back before they enter college. LifeBound’s book DOLLARS & SENSE: HOW TO BE SMART ABOUT MONEY teaches high school students about making their most important financial decisions for today and tomorrow. Students will learn everything from understanding the difference between wants and needs to investing in their futures. You can learn more about DOLLARS & SENSE at



School Debt A Long-Term Burden For Many Graduates,” Jennifer Ludden. 21 October 2011. NPR. Accessed on 21 October 2011. <>

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