This Type of Debt Is Up 56 Percent in a Decade

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

A nonprofit group that follows the trend calls this exploding debt load a major policy issue.

The average student loan debt for a graduate of a four-year public or private college in the United States shot up 56 percent between 2004 and 2014.

That’s according to the 10th annual report on student debt from the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a California-based nonprofit. The report found that while the share of grads with student debt rose from 65 percent (2004) to 69 percent (2014), college grads in 2014 had an average debt of $28,950, compared with $18,550 for 2004’s college grads, which was more than double or triple the rate of inflation in most states.

“Borrowers are graduating with a lot more debt than they did 10 years ago, and the class of 2014’s average debt is the highest yet,” said TICAS President Lauren Asher in a statement. “Student debt has rightly become a major policy issue. Students and families need better information and better policies to make college more affordable and debt less burdensome.”

Sadly, the student loan debt burden would likely be even higher if the report had factored in for-profit colleges, where students are not only more likely to take on student loans, but they also carry about 43 percent more debt on average. The report also doesn’t factor in loan figures for students who took on debt but didn’t graduate.

TICAS said the shift in college funding from states to students has placed “increasingly heavy burdens on students and families.”

“Between 2004 and 2014, [the report notes] the share of funding states provide to public colleges dropped from 62 percent to 51 percent, and during the same period, the share of tuition colleges have asked families to pay grew from 32 percent to 43 percent,” MarketWatch said.

But before you write off college as too expensive, hear this: On average, college grads experience less unemployment and earn more money than their high-school-educated peers. So yes, college is still worth the investment, as long as you graduate.

“Despite rising debt levels, a college degree is still the best path to a job and decent pay,” said Debbie Cochrane, TICAS research director, in a statement. “[But] for students who don’t graduate, loans are much harder to repay. Even a small amount of debt can be burdensome if you have limited job options.”

The report found that high student debt states are mainly concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest – Delaware, New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania – while low-debt states are mainly located in the West – Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Arizona.

What do you think of the explosive growth in student loan debt? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Corinthian Colleges Socked With $530 Million Judgment

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,789 more deals!