The average Delawarean paying student loans owes more than $34,000 – the third highest debt load in the country. More than 60 percent of former college students in the First State are currently paying down loans, and 9.5 percent will default on them this year, according to a new report.
Neighboring Pennsylvania ranks number one in the nation when it comes to student debt, with an average $36,193 debt balance per student. New Jersey weighs in at 14thon the list, with nearly $31,000 owed on average.
A recent Philadelphia Inquirer expose shows that even graduates of regional public universities end up carrying significant debt well into their careers.
Among publicly supported or flagship universities, students who graduate from Penn State, Temple, and Lincoln Universities hold some of the highest debt in the nation, helping make this region a veritable Debt Valley for college students.
Those at satellite campuses did especially poorly. Penn State State-Shenango grads left school with $45,746 in debt, while Penn State-Hazleton grads left with $45,703 in debt and Penn State-Harrisburg’s average debt totaled $42,315. But Penn State-University Park totaled $37,307 in debt, according to LendEDU.com’s latest data.
The report, “Buried in Debt: A national survey report on the state of student loan borrowers in 2018,” says 44 million Americans are in repayment for $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loans, a total debt size that’s tripled since 2005. “While the average debt load per borrower has surged over the last two decades,” the report details, “the real wages of young graduates have decreased by 2.5% since 2000 — pushing many borrowers onto a financial tightrope.” Other findings include:
- 65% of student loan borrowers reported having less than $1,000 in their bank account.
- The majority of borrowers reported having a high debt to income ratio. Across all survey respondents, the average total debt was $87,500 while the average annual income was $60,000.
- 30% reported having a student loan bill higher than their rent or mortgage bill. 18% reported being in default on at least one student loan.
- 56% reported having a student loan bill higher than their health insurance bill.
- 20% reported being unable to make their next loan payment, while 44% reported that making their next payment would be a struggle.
- 65% reported having a student loan bill higher than their monthly food budget