College graduates with student loans accumulate less lifetime wealth than their debt-free classmates, according to a study released this month.
“Though a college education remains the surest path to a middle-class life, evidence has begun to mount that student debt may be far more detrimental to financial futures than once thought, particularly for those with the highest levels of debt: students of color and students from low-income families,” writes Robert Hiltonsmith. His study was published Aug. 1 by public policy organization Demos.
Using a variety of datasets to create a model of indebted and debt-free households, Hiltonsmith’s analysis highlights some striking realities for those saddled with student loan debt. These five student loan stats stuck out:
Sixty-six percent of college students graduate four-year institutions with an average of $26,600 in student loans. If both heads of house carry that burden, the family is paying off $53,000 in student loans, which impacts the ability to spend and save.