Record high number of American households carry student loan debt

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-  In just a few days, Jason Titelbaum will put on his cap and gown and proudly accept his Bachelor’s degree. As for life after college, Titelbaum hopes to go on to to earn a Master’s degree, but he told 22News he faces tough decisions ahead as his student loan bills will start arriving in a few short months.

“I know that that’s there, and I need to start making payments on those before I really have any really financial freedom going down the line,” Titelbaum said.

Titelbaum is one of the nearly 12 million young Americans who carry an average student loan debt of about $13,000, according to new research from the Pew Research Center.

The Pew study found that a record high four out of 10 American households headed by someone younger than 40 years old has some kind of student loan debt.

The study also found that young households headed by college graduates with student loans averaged a net worth of about $8,700, compared to those without loan debt who netted an average of more than $64,000.

Thom Fox, an entrepreneurial and economic consultant in the Springfield region, told 22News that student loan debt forces people to make decisions in life they may not have made otherwise.

“It reduces their net worth, they have large challenges in saving for retirement. They get a later start in life, they’re not as apt to buy new automobiles, to buy a home, or to start a family even,” Fox explained.

Even with student loan debt, the research shows households headed by college graduates earn roughly $20,000 more a year than those without a degree.

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