Student Loan Debt is a Crisis – Just Look at the Stats

The following is a guest post by Erica Butler, a freelance writer from Nevada working to pay off her student loan debt.

Welcome to 2017. It is a year full of change from a new presidency down to the debt that students have taken on, thanks to student loans. You have probably heard many of the current statistics about how Americans owe something like $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. This debt is owed by a rough estimate of about 44 million borrowers. When the most recent graduates from 2015 have a whopping $28,000 or more in student loan debt. This number is concerning because it is actually up an entire six percent since last year.

But, what does this actually mean for you? When you take a look at the big picture, it can be difficult to make the numbers feel personal, so we are going to break it down a bit more for you to ensure you can better understand what the student loan debt situation looks like and what it can mean for you.

Okay, let’s go ahead and take a look below.

Overall Statistics for Student Loan Debt

We talk about the total student loan debt, which is at $1.4 trillion spread across a total of 44 million borrowers. Out of those 44 million borrowers, 70 percent of them are current college students.

There is a total default rate of about 11.3 percent and a delinquency rate of 5.41 percent. Each borrower carries a rough estimate of $27,857 in debt. Some borrowers will owe much more and some will owe much less. Remember, the estimate student loan debt per borrower from 2015 is $28,000.

Overall Statistics for Federal Student Loan Debt

These statistics below are for federal student loan debt ONLY. Remember, there is a difference between federal and private student loans. Federal loans are the most common types of loans that students receive since private student loans are harder to obtain.

The total amount of outstanding federal student loan debt is equal to $1.29 trillion with direct loans equaling about $949 billion of that. There are over 40 million borrowers who have federal student loan debt. The total number of borrowers with federal direct loans is 31 million.

Interesting and Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics

Below, you will find some additional student loan debt statistics that are both interesting and shocking. We believe that these stats are good to know because they help to put the entire situation into perspective.

  • There are more Americans that hold student loan debt than there is in population in over 200 countries
  • Over 60 percent of borrowers have had to wait to purchase a vehicle due to their debt
  • Student loan debt is the second highest form of debt. It is second to mortgage debt
  • 90 percent of private student loans are co-signed
  • Over 40 percent of borrowers wait to have a family because of their debt
  • Over 70 percent of borrowers have put off saving for retirement due to their debt
  • 30 percent of borrowers have waited to get married because of student loan debt
  • 71 percent of borrowers have delayed the purchase of a home because of student loan debt
  • Student loan debt increases by about $2,667 per second
  • 37 percent of borrowers currently are paying down their debt

Students Who Incur the Most Debt

Unfortunately, student loan debt hurts certain types of students more than it does other types of students. While it may not seem fair, it is just the way things work out and it means that you need to be that much more cautious as you start to borrow student loans.

The first type of student that suffers the most is the graduate student. This is because the cost of graduate student loans is more than that of an undergraduate loan. In addition, depending on the type of graduate degree you choose, you may incur much more debt. For example, a law degree can require you to borrow up to $150,000 or more. A medical degree can cost up to $160,000 or more.

The second type of student that suffers is the student that heads off to a for-profit school. This is because the cost of classes is much higher because the school wants to make a profit. The debt here is often heftier and students cannot always keep up with the amount.

The last type of student that suffers the most is the student who drops out of college and does not complete a degree. Uncompleted degrees account for about 59 percent of student loan borrowers.

Get Your Financial Future into Perspective

The student loan debt statistics that have been provided above are shocking and they may even scare you a bit. There is a serious student loan debt problem and it does not seem to be getting better at all. If you want to secure your financial future, you need to make sure that you are careful when it comes to how much you borrow and you should always learn the most you can about your student loans before you sign the contract.

Want More Articles Like This?

Join the Wallet Squirrel email list for AWESOME updates.

Side Jobs That Millennials Can Do Weekly

The following is a guest blog post:

Given the rising costs of living it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Millennials to lead a comfortable life without having to undertake a ‘side job’ to supplement their income. Many industries still only offer low salaries, and with the burden of living costs and often university or college debt, taking on a side job is becoming more of a necessity than a choice for younger people. If you’re looking for a way to supplement your full time job but are unsure of where to begin, there’s a huge variety of side jobs to suit, depending entirely on your background, experience and personal preferences. In this article we’ll look into the most rewarding and profitable ‘side jobs’ for Millennials that can be accomplished at least once a week, making them a reliable but sustainable way to make extra money outside of a full-time job.

Purchasing and selling domain names

Although not an option that most might consider, purchasing and selling domain names as a means of making some extra money is very profitable way to supplement your income, as well as surprisingly popular. The way of doing it is simple; identify a good domain name, then register it and sell it. However, this isn’t a viable option for just anyone – in order for it to be profitable then you must have some prior knowledge of what makes a good website, so this side job would best suited to those with experience in website building, tech or SEO. If this sounds like you, then it can prove to be hugely profitable and easily managed around any existing commitments. There are so many articles and websites out there give more in depth advice on how to get started, but the key to doing this successfully is to narrow your focus, and specialise in a particular area (for instance finance) where you’ll be able to use your own knowledge of the field or industry.

Become a Tour Guide

If you live in an area that’s popular with tourists then this is an opportunity you can exploit. You’ll need a good knowledge of the local area and it’s history (as well as undoubtedly patience) but if you have a passion for history or the town or city you live in then this can be a truly rewarding side job. You’ll need excellent communication skills, the ability to present information in an interesting and engaging way and good knowledge of facts, figures and events. It is worth mentioning though this this kind of job works best for individuals with particularly good social skills, and confidence to address a large crowd. Experience with the general public would be useful, or a background in hospitality. If you currently work part time and this is something you want to consider as a serious side job, then the International Tour Management Institute offer guidance, courses and certifications.

Dog walking

Although somewhat of a cliche, dog walking is actually seriously well paid work – providing you like dogs. If you’re looking to supplement your income, live near green space and work either part time or flexible hours then this really something to consider. The good thing about this side job is that you it doesn’t require you to have any previous experience, and can be easily scheduled into your week. The hours can be flexible, and you can take on as little or as many clients as you need to. For those who simply love dogs, if you work from home and live in the UK then you can even opt to look after someone’s dog with thanks to sites such as Borrow My Doggy. Hiring a dog walker is becoming increasingly common with Millennials, particularly in cities or for those who commute, as many dog owners aren’t able to fit in walking their dog during a long working day. Not only will you get to spend time with dogs, but this allows you to spend time outside, which might prove to be a welcome change from sitting in front of a screen. Remember though that you will need to walk rain or shine, so if you’re someone who hates going out when it’s cold or wet then you might want to think twice – that or invest in a good waterproof jacket. Start by putting up notices in your local area (a good place is notice boards in apartment blocks, coffee shops and schools) or registering on app Wag!, which will help you get in touch with pet owners in your area.

Selling second hand items

Not a particularly original idea, but many people use sites such as Ebay or Gumtree as a side job to bring in extra income and supplement their full time job. To make this profitable, you must have the ability – and preferably the desire – to hunt out a good ‘hidden gem’. Start by identifying what you already own that has the potential to be sold, then look for sellable items in second hand stores that you think will sell for a better and worthwhile price. Things that tend to sell well are vintage clothing and accessories, homewares and furniture. Know what to look for that you feel has the potential to be worth more. Quite often it may require some effort aside from just the purchasing and selling; for instance, repainting or re-polishing a second hand item of furniture that may not be in the best condition. Set aside some time each week that you dedicate a portion of time to looking for new ‘stock’ or items to sell. This is a good side job as it can be easily done with no experience and outside of an existing job, you just need to ensure that you have the passion and motivation to scour thrift and secondhand stores.

Online Trading

Online trading as a means of making an income has been very much alive since the 1990’s and if done right, can be a very rewarding and profitable side job. Best suited to those with a background (or even interest) in finance or investment, it involves using a trading platform (usually owned by a brokerage firm) to place buy or sell orders for financial securities or currencies. Before you begin, look for a reputable trading platform that offers a free trial or ‘learn function’, such as CMC Markets. You will need to take into consideration that you’ll need an initial sum of money to make your first investment, or deposit. Do your research as to which online broker offers you the best starting deposit and least commission. As there is risk involved, for someone who is needing to undertake a side job just to make ends meet then this may not be advisable. Ideally those looking to supplement their income with online trading would have previous experience of the stock market and a cushion of savings, as you can stand to lose money. Start small, and never bet more than you can afford. Done well, online trading can be an extremely profitable side job.


Those who are naturally academic with the addition of a degree or other relevant qualifications might want to consider tutoring. Hours work well to fit around an existing career, as tutoring is usually done on a weekly basis in evenings or on weekends. Many parents are willing to spend up to $100 a session to have their children tutored accordingly until they’re exam ready, but it’s important that before considering this side job you establish whether you have suitable qualifications, as these will be your selling point to prospective parents. It’s common for parents to refer good tutors to other parents, so if you find you’re well suited to this you can steadily build your reputation and rates, making it an ideal long term side job.


So as you’ve seen, there are a number of both rewarding and profitable side jobs that are guaranteed to bring in that extra bit of income each week – all that’s needed is a bit of imagination and deciding which will work best for you.

Want More Articles Like This?

Join the Wallet Squirrel email list for AWESOME updates.