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College Student Debt Statistics

College student debt statistics are listed in this article. Includes statistics on student loan debt as well as credit card debt. The college student debt stats and facts are alarming. Get the details on credit card debt here.

Increasingly, debt is becoming a reality amongst college students. All forms of debt are up for college students. Credit card debt is common, but student loans are even more numerous. Total average debt for college students, when they graduate, is as follows:

  • Nellie Mae reports that the average amount of credit card debt held by college graduates is $2,700.
  • USA Today reports that the average college graduate owes about $19,000 in student loan debt.

The total average debt, then, for college graduates is about $21,700. Some college students manage to rack up as much as $7,000  (10 percent of college students, according to Nellie Mae) in credit card debt. Others finish their four year education with student loans exceeding $40,000. If they go on to graduate school, that amount will get even higher. Student debt is rapidly becoming a fact of life.

Student credit card debt statistics

Interestingly enough, according to information from Georgetown University, college students are more likely than other demographic groups to pay off their balances. However, they are likely to rack up more fees, since college students are also more likely to be late with their payments or exceed their credit limits. Those that do carry balances, month to month, according to Georgetown, are likely to carry around $552 on the credit cards.

Here are some more student credit card debt statistics from Nellie Mae:

  • 78 percent of college students have at least one credit card.
  • 32 percent of college students have at least four credit cards.
  • On average, students have nearly three credit cards.
  • Out of graduate students, 95 percent of them have at least one credit card.

Student loan debt statistics

Another major source (the major source) of college student debt is the student loan. Student loans are both public and private. Public student loans are loans guaranteed by the federal government. They generally have lower interest rates, and more flexible repayment terms. Private loans are offered by other institutions to close the "funding gap" that many have between costs and what is covered by federal student loans. Interest rates are higher and repayment is less flexible.

Some student loan debt statistics from the College Board include:

  • Private lenders provided $14 billion in student loans. This is an increase of 734 percent from 10 years ago.
  • 43 percent of students in public four year institutions take out public student loans.
  • In private non-profit colleges, 54 percent of the students take our public student loans.

Student debt has become largely something that is accepted in our society. The availability of student loans – as well as the ease of obtaining credit for everyday expenses – has actually made college more accessible for more people. However, the rising cost of college has at the same time ensured that the debt burden associated with a higher education is also higher.

Taking out student loans and wisely using credit cards can help you get through college. However, it is important to take out only what you need, and to work out a plan for paying the money back as soon as possible.

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