May 30, 2015

Chart of the Week: Student Loan Debt Balances By Age

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Source:  US News

Ask your students to come up with some takeaways after analyzing this chart.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Overall, student loan debt has more than tripled in the last 10 years from $346 billion to $1.15 trillion
  • The bulk of the student loan burden falls on those under 40 years old, although it would appear that about 1/3 of student loan debt is held by those over 40, beyond the age when most student debt should already be paid off.
  • Given how student debt seems prevalent even in the 50+ age range (a dramatic shift from 2004), it would seem that cohort of borrowers would be challenged in saving for retirement.
  • As for causes, a soft job market, reduced public investment in higher education and ongoing cost increases beyond rate of inflation have led to this student debt situation.


Looking for lessons and resources focused on student loans? Here's what's available on the NGPF website


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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