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Survey reveals students are unsure of how to handle debt

Survey reveals students are unsure of how to handle debt

A new survey has revealed just how daunting student loans can be for young people. According to a poll by Money Matters on Campus, a large majority of American college students feel unprepared to pay for loans. While a college degree may be very important for advancing in some careers, the prospect of borrowing thousands of dollars to pay for tuition can be a big problem.

Major confusion
After a survey of 90,000 students throughout the U.S. conducted over four years, Money Matters on Campus found that 90 percent of students feel as if they do not have enough information when it comes to paying off loans. This includes issues related to money management, financial planning and even the logistics of making payments.

Students at two-year colleges reported having a better handle on their loans. The survey found that these individuals were more engaged with fiscal responsibility and paid closer attention to personal budgets and banking statements. Two-year students were more averse to debt but overall more content with their financial situation than those studying at a four-year college.

For college students or post-grads, taking paid surveys online with Opinion Outpost can be a way to earn money at home and create a little more breathing room when it comes to establishing a budget. While you may not make enough to cover your loan payments, taking a few surveys is a way to have cash on hand for a Friday night out, or maybe make it easier to afford textbooks.

Growing trend
The Institute for College Access & Success stated that the rate at which students have taken on debt has risen in recent years. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of individuals who graduated with debt did not rise significantly - increasing from 65 percent to 69 percent - but the average amount of debt rose twice as fast as the rate of inflation.

In 2014, nearly 7 in 10 college seniors graduated from a public or nonprofit college with some amount of student loan payments to make. On average, students owed nearly $29,000. 

The source also found that there was tremendous variation in debt levels between different states. Individuals in some states, led by New Hampshire  and South Dakota, owed closer to $35,000 on average following graduation, and over 80 percent of college students had some sort of payments.

On the other side of the spectrum, in states such as Louisiana and Hawaii, the amount of debt held by students was nearly $9,000 less than the national average, and fewer than half of students graduated with loans. 

Across the board, Student Loan Hero found that this phenomenon has a major impact in the economy overall. Roughly 43.3 million Americans hold some amount of student debt, and collectively as much as $1.23 trillion can be attributed to these loans. 

Unfortunately, although taking out loans is an increasingly common practice, there is a 11.6 percent delinquency rate. Because students feel unsure of their responsibilities and how to pay off loans, unpaid balances may be largely unavoidable.

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