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Average student loan debt tops $25,000

Two-thirds of college students have outstanding loans -- and the nation's unemployment situation is making it harder to pay them off.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 8, 2011 12:17PM

This post comes from Seth Fiegerman at partner site MainStreet.


MainStreet on MSN MoneyStudents are graduating from college with an ever-increasing amount of student loan debt, a new study from a nonprofit education group shows.


Two-thirds of all students who graduated college in 2010 owed money for loans, and those that did held an average loan debt of $25,250, according to data from the nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success. That represents a 5% increase over the average student loan debt in 2009.


As bad as that may sound, the actual average debt per student might be even higher as the report only factors in data from four-year public and private nonprofit colleges and not from for-profit institutions, which often have higher tuition costs. Post continues after video.

The average student loan debt also varies significantly by state. Several states in the Northeast, including Maine and Vermont, have an average student loan debt of nearly $30,000 -- and New Hampshire is the one state in the country to break the $30,000 mark, with an average debt of $31,048 per graduate.


The increasing amount of student loan debt is further compounded by the rising unemployment rate among college graduates. As the Institute points out in its report, the unemployment rate for college graduates 24 and under was 9.1% in 2010, up from 8.7% the year before. The net result is many students have more debt to pay down and less income with which to do it.


More on MainStreet and MSN Money:

Nov 13, 2011 9:10PM
Well, at least be smart about the student debt you create.  Pick a major where you can actually get a good paying job.
Nov 14, 2011 12:20AM
I graduated from a private college in 1989 with $18,000 in debt. I paid it off in three years despite a bad job market and a first full time job that only paid $30,000.  Adjusted for inflation, my debt would easily be more than $30k in current dollars.  It appears to be a lot of money, especially if unemployed.  It can and it will be paid off (student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy).  Find a job.  Live very lean. Pay off those loans. Then you can live it up some.

Using the average loan amount is misleading.  The number is skewed by people who go to expensive medical schools and law schools.  A better number would be the median student loan amount.

Mar 1, 2012 3:41PM
You are so out of touch with your article.  $25K ??!!  What high school are you talking about.  The reporters you are hiring are NOT doing their research.  And what is with MSN and voice activated articles.  I am here to read not have it blast and annoy people around me.
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