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People in This Profession Have the Highest Student Loan Debt

Ruchi Gupta - Author
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Aug. 29 2022, Published 7:17 a.m. ET

Student debt transcends race, social class, profession, and age. More than 40 million Americans are struggling with student loans, with some owing as many as six figures. Who owns student loan debt?

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To secure a well-paid job in finance, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. The problem is college education has become so expensive that many households can no longer rely on their savings to fund a degree program, meaning they have to turn to loans. The increase in tuition rates and the number of people pursuing college education has driven student loan debt to more than $1.9 trillion, and that figure is ballooning.

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Who owns the majority of student loan debt?

Whereas most student loan borrowers owe less than $20,000, about 7 percent owe more than $100,000. Student debt load is split nearly equally between undergraduate and graduate programs, though loans for graduate and other professional programs have increased in recent years.

People aged 25 to 34 years hold most of the student debt, at 33 percent. About 24 percent of the debt is held by borrowers aged 18 to 24 years, and 35- to 49-year-olds shoulder 23 percent of the debt.

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Students who attended private for-profit and private nonprofit universities hold about 51 percent of the debt, and this group of borrowers is also mostly behind on their loan repayments. Black students have recorded a quick increase in education debt. Moreover, women are more likely than men to borrow for college.

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Are student loans owned by the government?

Students can obtain educational loans from the government or private lenders. More than 90 percent of outstanding student loans are from the federal government. Besides regular banks, other private student loans providers include SoFi Technologies, Navient, and Sallie Mae. Student loans obtained from the federal government are usually cheaper than those from private lenders.

What profession has the highest student loan debt?

Dental school graduates have the highest average student debt, at more than $292,000. Student who attended medical schools also owe more than $200,000 on average, though nursing students have low average student debt.

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What happens when student debt is cancelled?

If your student loan is cancelled, you may be discharged from the burden completely or owe less than you did before. Joe Biden announced a plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loans, putting most borrowers on the path to relief.

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What student loans will be forgiven?

Biden’s student debt relief program covers both undergraduate and graduate programs. However, only loans taken up to June 2022 can be forgiven. The relief program also excludes student loans obtained from private lenders.

Are student loans forgiven after 20 years?

You’re expected to repay your student loan in full even in retirement, unless Biden’s debt cancellation complete erases your bill. If you’re struggling to manage your student debt, you may be put on an income-based repayment plan. Those eligible can have their outstanding debt balance forgiven after 20 to 25 years.

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