American student loan debt now totals $1.5 trillion according to the Federal Reserve, and the consequences could prove to be quite severe. To put that figure into perspective, US GDP is approaching $20.5 trillion according to the IMF (2018), so student loan debt is now at approximately 7.5% of GDP.
A recent survey of 2000 people has revealed that young people are feeling the squeeze. 75% of respondents agree that their student loan debt is ‘depressing’, and more than half are stuck at their current job so they can pay their debt. In some cases, student loan debt sticks to people well into their 30s, and possibly even 40s. Even if you yourself have no debt, the effects on the broader economy are decidedly negative. Student loan debt is one of the largest roadblocks to home ownership as well. Now, 40 million people in the US are borrowers, so the situation can reasonably be described as a national crisis.
If you are in the process of getting a student loan, it doesn’t need to be as painful for you as it has been for so many others. Financial experts suggest that you set realistic goals after thoroughly evaluating your unique financial situation. Planning ahead can help you establish a much better (and more predictable) path to paying off your student loan debt.
If you are currently struggling with student loan debt, experts have a few suggestions. One of the best things you can do is refinance your loans into a lower interest rate. You can start right now by googling ‘student loan refinance’ and looking into the many resources on where you can refinance your loans for a better interest rate. Try to find the plan that is right for you.