(PRWEB) September 11, 2013
As student loan debt quickly surpasses both auto and credit card debts nationwide, 71 percent of young Americans aged 18 to 24 are choosing to return home to live with their parents, according to a recent web survey by national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling. Of those respondents aged 25 to 34, 53 percent stated that they were forced to move home after graduation due to looming student loan payments.
Of the 223 consumers surveyed by ACCC, 77 percent of all respondents reported having outstanding student loans that have held them back from pursuing financial milestones such as living independently, buying a home or a car, and saving for retirement.
“Escalating student loan debt is holding consumers back from financial freedom, such as living independently, getting married and saving for retirement and the problem is only getting worse,” stated Steve Trumble, president and CEO of Newton-based American Consumer Credit Counseling. “The long-term implications of student loan debt is impacting consumers long after graduation and affecting the country’s national economy.”
Financial experts are worried about the impact that it is having on young consumers as well as older Americans. According to ACCC’s web survey, 46 percent of consumers had not been able to save for retirement because of student loan debt – up from 35 percent in 2012 – while 42 percent delayed buying a home, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. 34 percent of respondents have also had to put off buying or leasing a car because of their student loans, the percentage of which increased from 27 percent as reported in 2012.
“More and more young Americans are delaying some of life’s major milestones because of outstanding student debt,” continued Trumble. “The most alarming of which is the ability to save for retirement, which can have severe effects later on in life.”
The online survey found that 84 percent of all respondents said that they have taken out a student loan, while 100 percent of those aged 18-24 needed loans to pay for school. Surprisingly 70 percent of respondents ages 55 - 64 still have outstanding loans, while 40 percent of those 65 and older are still paying down student loans as well.
“It’s not just the younger generation that is affected by billions of dollars in national student loan debt,” added Steve Trumble. “Because of the exponential rise in tuitions –for both public and private universities – parents are also going into debt to assist their kids in paying for college, causing a nation-wide student loan debt crisis.”
Recently, ACCC launched the Student Debt Online Financial Education Center which provides prospective students, current students and their families with the information and resources necessary to make good financial decisions about college affordability and help successfully maneuver the repayment process without relying on credit cards or additional loans. In addition, the center is home to ACCC's College Financial Management workbook, a step-by-step guide to managing finances before, during and after college.
“We hope these free online resources will serve as critical tools for the millions of Americans who are affected by student loan debt each year,” said Steve Trumble. “Student loans are often the first major debt that many young Americans assume, which is why it is so important that they understand the long-term implications of their student loan terms and know how to properly budget and manage their finances during and following their college career.”
The student loan debt poll was the latest in a series of ACCC web surveys for 2013 that focus on a variety of financial education, budgeting and planning topics. American Consumer Credit Counseling’s certified and experienced counselors offer a variety of financial education, counseling and debt management services to help consumers achieve long-term financial health and stability.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management.
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About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.