One-third of college students plan on living with their parents post graduation due to loan debt

An online Harris poll conducted on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that 36 percent of college students either had no idea, or little idea how much money they took out in loans for college upon graduating.

“Loans feel like invisible money,” Lane student Jason Edwin said. “It’s so easy to spend the money and forget that I will have to pay it back — it’s dangerous.”

Approximately 43 percent of students had a general idea of how much they had taken out and only 22 percent — that’s one-in-five — knew the exact amount upon graduating.

“Every college student taking out loans should know what they are borrowing per semester and their projected balance upon graduation,” said Greg Anton, chair of the AICPA National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, in a statement. “This information is crucial to determine how burdensome the debt will be post-graduation and weigh alternatives if the amount is simply too high. It’s impossible to do this without knowing the loan amount.”

The poll was conducted among 751 college students who enrolled in fall of 2015. The survey found that 37 percent of students claimed that they will have to live with their parents post-graduation or take a job outside of their field of study. And while 59 percent of students in the poll said their loans will take less than a decade to pay off, a majority
— 79 percent — didn’t know the exact amount they will have taken out in total loans upon graduation.

Seventy-five percent of polled students said that their student loan debt would require some sacrifices in their lives post-graduation. 40 percent said that they would have difficulty purchasing a home and 29 percent felt their student loan debt would make it difficult for them to save for retirement.

“It’s scary to think about how much this will affect our future,” Lane student Jourdan Ross said. “The last thing on my mind right now is a family and kids but it’s weird to think that I will still be paying my loans off when that is a possibility.”

Notably, 31 percent of students stated they would be forced to delay having children due to loan debt, and 26 percent said they would postpone marriage.

However, 84 percent of students claimed that they are extremely or very interested in learning how to make better financial decisions. The AICPA National Financial Literacy Commission will hold a free webcast on Nov. 18, 2015 at 3 p.m., with members providing attendees practices and tools they can use to improve their financial lives.

The free webcast, entitled “Saving and Spending 101: What College Students Need to Know About Loans and Budgeting,” is designed for college students, parents, and those with student loans to learn tips and techniques to take charge of their finances.

Register at https://goo.gl/hC8o5a

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