A National Crisis: The Treacherous Mountain of Millennial Student Debt


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Money Under 30 surveyed over 1,000 millennials to figure out what they themselves thought of their student loans.

What they found was shocking.

Neil, a 32-year-old attorney, describes the psychological burden of his

massive student loan debt.


The only thing I can do is ignore it for 20 years and hope that somebody else solves it.

Neil tried to follow in the footsteps of his father, also a lawyer. But he ended up with far more debt than he had originally anticipated – $150,000 upon graduating.

And though he was diligent in making at least the minimum payment each month, Neil’s debt ballooned to $200,000 just years later.

Neil is one of the nearly 45 million Americans struggling to pay off a student loan balance. While our collective educational debt has passed the $1.6 trillion mark, this burden isn’t distributed equally among Americans.

Millennials like Neil hold the largest share of student loan debt. They owe, on average, more than $18,000. In contrast, when Generation X was finishing their studies, they had a 2004 median student loan balance of just $13,000.


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