According to a new survey 59% of millennials have “no idea” when they will manage to pay off their student loans.
Research agency TNS carried out an online survey in February on behalf of Citizens Bank. The results showed just how hard it will be for millennials to pay back the money they spent going to college.
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In years past paying to go to college was seen as a necessary investment in the future, and one that would easily be paid off upon entry into the world of work.
However millennials are increasingly finding that the road to financial freedom is harder than they thought, and for many it has no end in sight.
Millennials are defined as those aged between 18-35. Members of this population have an average student debt of $41,286.60.
Lack of knowledge about loans is evident
This figure is vastly more than the national average amount of debt for college graduates, which is $29,400 according to the Department of Education. Interestingly 15% of millennials polled by TNS did not know how much debt they had, and more than one-third had no idea how much interest they were paying on their balance.
The way that the loans work was also a mystery to a large number of millennials. Nearly 50% said that they “don’t understand” how privatized student loans are set up.
44% said that they didn’t completely understand how federal and private student loans are different. Almost a third were not aware of the term student debt refinancing.
The survey found that millennials are paying down debt at the expense of going to restaurants, entertainment and holidays. 8% of those surveyed admitted that they had no plans to pay back the debt, and another 8% plan to defer repayments by going back to school.
The idea of college buyer’s remorse is also very real, with most millennials regretting taking out so many loans. One-third of respondents said that they wouldn’t have bothered going to college if they had been aware of how much it cost.
Those who are applying to go to college should look long and hard at whether their degree will allow them to enter a job in which they will earn enough to pay back their loans.