Skip to content
  • Search
    Generic filters
    Exact matches only

Millennials Are Facing $1 Trillion in Student Loan Debt

Written by

millennials are facing $1.5 trillion dollars in student loan debt, college loans

It’s official. Young Americans are drowning in student loan debt. At the end of 2018, 18-29 year-olds find themselves exceeding a debt of $1 trillion and, since nearly 1 million student borrowers end up defaulting each year, we know that half of that is not being repaid (Yahoo Finance). Even more devastating, it’s been more than a decade since Americans have faced debt levels this high, Bloomberg reports.

The last time debt levels reached this high for this age bracket was in 2007.

From the money ($1,005,000,000,000) owed by 18-29 year-olds, student loans make up majority of this debt, followed by mortgage debt. However, mortgage debt is increasing at a far slower rate than student loan debt. Nevertheless, it seems as though millennials are renting homes or apartments for longer durations of time than previous generations as they wait to purchase their own home. Even more troubling, missing student loan payments will complicate the prospect of future mortgages due to the damage done to their credit profile.

While mortgage debt increases by 3.2%, student loan debts have grown up to 102% higher. Both Yahoo Finance and Business Insider report that at this rate, approximately 40% of outstanding debts are likely to default by 2023. This is an astronomically high number, especially when we consider that mortgage defaults at the height of the financial crisis only reached 11.5%.

Saving versus spending money

A recent survey at the University of Michigan found that young adults under 35 years-old were more cautious with their spending habits than previous generations. We can applaud millennials for their self-controlled spending habits and discipline in controlling their debt. However, since millennials represent $200 million of spending power, and are expected to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the US with spending power, this undoubtedly and, negatively, will affect America’s economic growth.

Student loan debt is the second-highest consumer debt segment.

The New York Post reports that “nearly one in every two millennials in New York state owes student loan debt.” Due to their economic environment conditions and increased cost of living, millennials can be found picking up side jobs in order to pay bills. Therefore, millennials are understandably more cautious with their spending money. This phenomenon is even more prominent as young adults graduate with weak job prospects and high educational debt. Additionally, some college graduates are delaying marriage plans in order to pay off their loans.

Grants versus loans

Grants and scholarships are typically not repaid. However, loans are commonly arranged through colleges. They send student applicants award letters when they are accepted to college, and vary widely in how they explain college cost payments.

After analyzing 11,000 award letters (by the New America Foundation), it was discovered that approximately one-third did not clearly define grants and scholarships from debt. Many of which didn’t even use the word “loan” but rather “award”. This may be related to why Brookings earlier study discovered that 28% of first-year student borrowers weren’t aware that they had federal loans. And majority of student loans are federal loans

Pay off debt faster. See the world.

Girl traveling after refinancing her student loans

Gain access to the guide on how to refinance your student loans:

Forrest Grey

Forrest Grey

Forrest Grey is a psychologist in San Jose, California. He is fueled with a passion to understand the human mind as it relates to the decision-making process. When he is not involved in a research project, he enjoys playing baseball with his son.

Related content

The scoops troop demonstrates a top halloween costume for college students trending in 2019

12 Trending Halloween Costumes for College

College student cutting a cucumber following the keto diet grocery guide.

How to Be Keto in College

College students studying with their various laptops

Our Top Laptop Picks for College Students

A girl with her feet up relaxing because she doesn't have to stress about taking the SATs

List of Colleges NOT Requiring SAT Scores