Consumer Comeback Blog

Debt for Dinner: Recent Grads Have Full Plate Of Financial Worry

A recent Workonomix Survey from Accounting Principals revealed that most students graduate with excessive debt and struggle to afford basic living necessities. The survey showed that 68% of recent college graduates leave school with $40,000 of debt on average. Though most of this debt is accrued through loans ($27,029), a significant portion is the result of nonstudent loans ($12,742).

Furthermore, there was indication that male graduates collect more debt on average than female students; males owed 28% more ($30,508) than females ($23,892). Males also ran up double the amount of credit card debt than female graduates ($17,858 vs $8,574).

Although 42% of the recent graduates surveyed expected to have more disposable income following graduation, in reality, 83% found they were unable to afford basic living necessities such as groceries, rent cell phone, car, and student loan repayments.

For many recent grads, hindsight is 20/20. About one-third of recent grads (35%) would have sought financial aid options and scholarships. Thirty-one percent said they would have pursued a higher paying major and another 31% said they would have obtained a job during college to save earlier.

As new students enter college for the first time this fall, gaining an education about financial aid, choosing a major, and student loans, can significantly increase the chances excessive debt can be avoided. Furthermore, understanding how debt affects your credit score will effectively prepare students for domestic life following graduation.