1 in 5 Georgia households have student debt, study says
According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, nearly one out of every five U.S. households had student debt in 2010. This amounts to more than 22 million households in Georgia and across the country, and that number has probably increased in the two years since that data was accumulated.
Not surprisingly, it is the lower-income households that have been hit the hardest by the increase in student debt. The poorest 20 percent of U.S. households have the greatest debt burden, meaning that student loans take the largest percentage of their income, out of any other economic class. However, the richest 20 percent of households has the largest overall share of the total outstanding student debt in the United States.
The amount of debt held by people in every social class has risen with the onset and aftermath of the economic recession. According to the Pew Report, the average amount of student debt owed by the richest 20 percent of households increased from $25,921 in 2007 to $31,989 in 2010, while the amount owed by the poorest 20 percent of households rose from $19,018 in 2007 to $20,640 in 2010.
Pew researchers found that there were two main reasons for the increase in student debt, both of which are closely related to the recession. The first and most obvious factor is the increasing costs of attending college. The second is the rising rates of college enrollment across the country. In fact, one Pew economist believes that student debt loads will continue to increase until that trend reverses. “Until college enrollment peaks,” he said, “I would not expect the amount of outstanding student debt to level off.”
Source: 9News, “Student debt stretches to record 1 in 5 households,” Sept. 27, 2012