Half of College Grads Surprised by Their High Debt

Photo (cc) by AMagill

Here’s one lesson not enough students are getting in college: Debt is easy to rack up and hard to destroy.

Half of 2013’s graduates were surprised by how much college-related debt they had acquired, according to a new Fidelity survey of 750 new grads.

It also found that more than one-third of students wish they had made different choices on their path to a degree, such as saving sooner, controlling costs better, and looking for more financial aid.

Some of them — 12 percent — regret their decision to go to college, CNN says.

Seventy percent of this year’s grads have college-related debt, the study says. The average amount: $35,200. That includes federal, state and private loans, plus debt owed to family and on credit cards.

Here’s what students did right, according to the study:

  • 85 percent contributed personal savings toward college costs. Among those who did, 27 percent contributed more than $10,000, and 81 percent held jobs to pay expenses.
  • 57 percent were thinking about what they would make after graduation and chose majors accordingly. The top five listed were business, biology, psychology, engineering and accounting.
  • 54 percent of grads have a financial plan of some sort in place, including making a budget and setting aside savings from their paychecks.

If you’re in college or know somebody who is, send them to the links below. We have lots of advice on managing student loans and avoiding them (as much as possible) in the first place.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Online Bank Rated Best for Second Year in a Row
This Online Bank Rated Best for Second Year in a Row

This bank pays interest without charging monthly fees, but there’s a downside.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State
Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State

Are you on track to retire at the same age as most residents of your state?

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020
11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020

The home remodeling projects that deliver the best bang for the buck tend to have one thing in common.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.