Student loans take a mental toll on young people

Personal Finance

For many recent graduates, student loan debt is literally giving them nightmares.

Over the last decade, college-loan balances in the United States have jumped to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion, according to a recent report by Experian. The average outstanding balance is $34,144, up 62 percent over the last 10 years.

Those student loan payments have created an “unprecedented financial challenge” for borrowers, according to a new report by Gradifi, a Boston-based start-up that provides a student loan benefit platform for employers.

To that point, 80 percent of working professionals with student loan debt said it is a source of “significant” or “very significant” stress, according to the survey of more than 3,000 Americans conducted online in May.

Many millennials said that student loans have impacted their ability to go on vacation, buy a car, pay rent or get necessities like food and clothing.

And then there are the long-term consequences: From buying a home to getting married and even having children, an increasing number of young adults are putting off major milestones because of that one large liability.

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