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The average student loan debt among borrowers was $ 28,800 among undergraduate students who took on debt in the 2018 to 2019 school year, according to data from CollegeBoard.
However, the amount of student debt incurred by borrowers depends on several factors.
According to data from
Tip, families with higher incomes tend to have higher student loan balances. Here’s how average student loan debt breaks down by income percentile – or where a family falls in the U.S. income spectrum – depending on the 2019 Consumer Finances Survey:
According to data from the Urban Institute, 48% of student debt is held by households with a higher education qualification. While higher education means more time in school, it also tends to mean more debt at a higher interest rate – federal student loans for undergraduates carry an interest rate of 2.75% for the 2020 to 2021 school year, while graduate loans are higher at 4.3%.
Higher income households tend to spend more on education. Students from high-income families are less likely to have student debt, but those who do tend to have a lot.
According to CollegeBoard Data on the class of 2016, an undergraduate degree holder from a family earning more than $ 120,000 was 11 percentage points more likely to have no loan debt than a family holder earning between $ 70,000 and $ 119,999 per year.
Student loans disproportionately impact black borrowers and their families.
Based on 2019 data from Survey of Consumer Finances, Black borrowers face much more student loans than white or Hispanic borrowers. Here’s how the average student loan debt breaks down by race for student loan borrowers:
Middle School emphasizes that the the racial wealth gap contributes for that. According to US census data, the average black family has a median net worth of $ 9,600 while white families have a median net worth of $ 130,800.
Private schools tend to be more expensive, and as a result, students in private colleges and universities tend to borrow more. Here is the amount of debt of the average student who attended a public college compared to a private college, according to: CollegeBoard data on undergraduate students for the 2018-2019 academic year:
Paying off student loan debt can be a challenge, but there are several steps you can take if you want to reduce your student loan debt.
Make a debt repayment plan
If you don’t have a plan for paying off your student debt, having one could be of great help. Using a debt repayment method such as debt snowball, where you prioritize loans from smallest to largest and build momentum, or an avalanche of debt, where you prioritize loans from the highest interest rate to the lowest interest rate to reduce payments over the years can help you break your loans down into manageable parts to start moving forward.
These methods are not the only methods of fighting debt, but they are two of the most common. Both start by listing all of your debts and income, then choose which debt to invest all of your resources to first. One or the other is a method to start paying off student loan debt, regardless of the amount of your loans.
Consider refinancing your student loans
If you’ve been in student loan debt for several years and haven’t considered refinancing, the time may have come.
Interest rates are lower than in the past, and refinancing could help lower your interest rates. People who borrowed federal student loans when interest rates were higher several years ago could reduce interest rates and save on interest by refinancing.
For borrowers with private student loans, there is nothing to lose when considering refinancing, explains financial planner Anna N’Jie-Konte. However, federal student loan borrowers should be careful before refinancing: by refinancing their public loans to private loans, they will lose some of the protections of federal student loans like the Abstention from the CARES Law and suspension of interest rates, as well as access to income-based repayment plans.