We've all heard the horror stories – kids are graduating college saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, only to face an uphill battle when it comes to getting a job that's not at Starbucks or for more than retail workers wages.
For others who pursue advanced professional degrees like chiropractors, the debt burden can be even more profound. If you amassed a sizable amount of debt in college, then you know all too well the impact it can have on your daily life, financial decisions, and family’s future.
In this two-part series, we'll introduce you to the overall epidemic of student loans in the US, and then focus in on student loan debt issues specific for chiropractors.
Here are 20 facts about student loan debt that tell the true story:
1. Student loan debt has surpassed $1.3 trillion in the United States.
2. More than $1 trillion of that is federal student loan debt.
3. With the federal debt at about $16.7 trillion, that means student loans make up 6% of our total national debt.
4. About 44 million borrowers have some student loan debt in the US.
5. The average graduate in 2016 leaves school with $37,172 in student loan debt, which is up 6% from 2015.
6. Student loan debt tops all other forms of consumer debt in America.
7. Student loan debt is the second highest form of consumer debt behind mortgages.
8. It's the only kind that is next to impossible to discharge in bankruptcy
9. Yet the delinquency rate for student loans is now an alarming 11.2%.
10. More than half of student loan accounts - 65.5 million of 128.8 million - are still in deferment.
11. The majority of student loans are backed by the U.S. government through banks like Sallie Mae, or since 2010, by the Department of Education.
12. Based on that fact, the creditor is the U.S. taxpayer because they will be burdened and obligated by the loan if the student defaults.
13. 2/3 of students graduating from American colleges and universities are graduating with some level of debt.
14. Students completing an associate’s degree from a community college in 2008, 38% graduated with debt.
15. In the for-profit sector of two-year degrees, over 90% have debt. The average debt load at a public two-year institution is $7,000.
16. One in 10 graduates accumulates more than $40,000 in debt.
17. 60% of students borrow money annually to cover costs.
18. That’s approximately 12,000,000 students a year.
19. Since 1978, the cost of the average college tuition has gone up 900%. The cost of living went up approximately 325% in that same period.
20. The Department of Education made $101.8 billion from student loans over the last 5 years.