Banking Law

Student Debt Reaches Record Levels, a Burden in 1 in 5 Households

An analysis by the Pew Research Center has found that one in five households in the United States is burdened with student debt.

The 2010 student debt figures are double from 1989 and up 15 percent from 2007, the Associated Press reports. The AP says the growth in student debt is the largest three-year increase in more than two decades.

Hardest hit by debt are the poor and very young, with the greatest burden on the poorest 20 percent. And 40 percent of households headed by someone younger than 35 owed college debt, AP says.

Pew attributes the increase to higher tuition costs and rising enrollment during an economic downturn.

The data evaluated by Pew was from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which is conducted every three years, AP reports.

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