According to a report from the New America Foundation, graduate students are taking on an increasing amount of debt. With our country facing $1.1 trillion in student loan debt, it is shocking that approximately 40% of this amount is loans being used by students to pay for graduate and professional degrees. In fact, the average graduate student owes $57,600 in student loan debt.
The report seems to reveal that the student loan crisis is primarily with graduate students, and not those individuals who are borrowing money to attend a 2-year or 4-year college. The Institute for College Access and Success has reported that seven in ten college seniors who graduated in 2012 had student loan debt, which averaged $29,400.
So, how did the influx of borrowing for graduate degrees happen? There were several policy changes that impacted it. For example, a 2006 policy permitted graduate students to borrow an unlimited amount of federal student loans. Additionally, the income-based repayment and loan forgiveness programs made it easier for borrowers to have a large part of their loans forgiven. Thus, students who could not afford to pay for their education saw an opportunity to borrow money that would eventually be forgiven. Of course, the decline in the economy also played a role in the increase in borrowing since many individuals had to take out more loans in order to pay for living expenses as well as their education.
What should we take away from this report? First, it is important to understand that your access to college is likely not as limited as you might think. The amount of student loan debt being carried by undergraduates is not nearly as staggering as that being borrowed by graduates. Additionally, it is imperative for you to only borrow what you actually need in order to obtain your education. And lastly, if you are being overwhelmed by repaying your student loan debt, contact us to learn about repayment options and loan forgiveness.
The “defender of the little guy,” DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC. handles student loan debt and bankruptcy matters (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) in Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County, including the municipalities of Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, River Hills, Shorewood, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, and Whitefish Bay. The firm also can handle your debt negotiations, debt relief, and mortgage loan modifications. Contact DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC by phone: (414) 377-0518. Like us on Facebook.