The U.S. Department of Education estimates as many as 42.3 million Americans carry some form of student debt, totaling $1.33 trillion in federal student loans. Millennials pay on average $351 a month toward that debt, and their median monthly payment is $203, according to the Federal Reserve. Moreover, seven in ten of today’s graduates leave college in debt.
It is little wonder, then, that 57% of millennials in a recent Pollfish survey cited loan debt as a major stressor affecting their daily productivity. The stress can be particularly acute for those in the legal profession, whose average debt load at graduation is $140,000, according to The New York Times.
There may also be relief available through Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs), which are designed specifically for certain law school graduates. For more information, read “What Is a Student Debt Forgiveness Program?”
The first step toward dealing with the burden of student loan debt is to form a realistic plan which considers credit card debt, your income after covering essentials, and other financial expenses. (Note: Voya’s CompareMe Calculator is a quick, easy way to determine how your overall financial picture compares to those of your peers. And that, in turn, can help put things like student loan debt into context.)