Americans Being Crushed by Student Loan Debt

$1.5 trillion. That's the most recent estimate of how much student loan debt there is in America. A staggering $1.5 TRILLION. About 44 million students and former students have student loan debt. If you do the math, that equates to an average of $34,091 per person. The average college tuition of a private college is around 34,740 per year. That means, average college graduates are burdened with about one year of college education that they must pay back. College tuition costs are on the rise, which means student loan debt is also on the rise. These are just the facts of the situation.

I graduated from college myself in 2012. I went to Moravian College and got a certificate in Elementary Education and a BA in Psychology. I don't remember what exactly the tuition was per year, but, Moravian College is a fairly expensive private college in Bethlehem, PA. I do remember that roughly a third of my tuition was covered by grants and scholarships, a third my parents paid out of pocket (God bless them), and a third went to student loans for me to start paying back 6 months after I graduated. By today's standards, I would say that I ended up with an average amount of student loan debt. These are the facts of my situation.

I was lucky though. I landed a teaching job right out of college at a private school. Not having any other debt or a car loan, I was able to start paying the outrageous student loan payments. Unfortunately, at the end of the school year, I learned that the school was going to be eliminating my position due to them cutting costs. They would later shut down entirely another year down the road. Suddenly, I found myself unable to pay my student loan payments. I ended up getting a job at a daycare, but my income decreased significantly. Luckily, I was able to get my federal student loans deferred. However, there simply isn't that option with private student loans. So I was stuck with that high payment and a lower income. Years down the road, I was able to get my private student loans consolidated for a lower monthly payment.

So what's my point? My point is that if you don't obtain a high paying job right out of college, the odds of you being able to pay student loan payments are slim. It turns into a crisis situation quickly, as other bills such as groceries, gas, rent, electric, etc. take precedent. This is the sad situation millions of Americans are faced with. #studentloandebt #college

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