A report from the New York Federal Reserve has found that total student debt has almost tripled over the past decade. According to the report there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of borrowers and the average balance per person. The total student debt stands at over $966 billion as of the 2020 fourth quarter.
It is difficult to pin point the highest debt that a particular student graduated with, however these startling state averages give an idea of the amount of debt students and graduates face. According to NBC News a study found that the largest student loan debts were primarily concentrated in the Northeast. New Hampshire is one of the most indebted states, with an average of $32,440, closely followed by Pennsylvania with $29,959, Minnesota with $29,793 and Rhode Island at $29,097. For profit colleges seemed to worsen the student loan debt crisis with 96 percent of graduates enrolled in a four year program took out student loans and borrowed up to 45 percent more than the graduates of other types of colleges.
Tony was the first person in her family to go to college. Her mother refused parent plus loans because she said she would appreciate her education even more if she paid for it. Tony states that “school never explained loan differences and said Sallie Mae is an easy affordable way to take out loans once grants and Stafford loans run out.” Now she is two classes away from graduating with over $175,000 in primarily student loan debt.
James has over 100,000 in debt and has been living off unemployment checks for the last 10 years. He left engineering to pursue what he truly loved but has been unable to solicit a job. The debt burden is tremendous and it plagues his daily life. “I am constantly worried about this debt and it has prevented me from living a free and fulfilling life.”
Steve Mackenzie used to work in the entertainment industry, but has been unemployed for a number of years; he needed desperately to update his skill set in order to find a job in the highly competitive field of games and animations. He saw an advertisement about a gaming program offered by a popular for profit institution. Steve jumped at the opportunity to kick start his brand new career, he now unfortunately has a debt of over $100,000 and is still unemployed.
The figures for student loan debt are frightening. Student loan debt has topped the one trillion mark as of 2021, increasing by four times its amount since 2011, according to a Fox news report. The report also revealed the number of households with student debt has increased by over 4 percentage points between 2015 and 2020. The number of student loan borrowers that are past due on payments has increased significantly from 10 percent to 17 percent between 2012 and 2020. There are so many people that have horror stories that depict the life of hardship caused by student loans. There are just too many to name.