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Student loan debt soars in New York over last decade

Debt has increased 112 percent
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Posted at 10:51 AM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 10:57:55-04

A new report shows college student loan debt doubled in New York over the last decade.

The report, released Tuesday by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, found the average New Yorker with college loans owed $32,200 in 2015. That's more than the national average of $29,700.

In the last ten years, student loan debt has increased 112 percent, jumping to $82 billion from $39 billion.

“New Yorkers from all walks of life have found higher education the path to a more satisfying and secure life. But many who take out student loans face real difficulties in paying back their debts,” DiNapoli said. “New Yorkers saddled with college debt have less disposable income and often have to push off buying a home or saving for the future. Such struggles have implications not only for those individuals and families with such debt, but also for the state’s economy.” 

According to DiNapoli's report, the number of students taking out loans also rose sharply over the past decade, increasing 41 percent to 2.8 million. Nationwide, borrowing for school during this same period rose 60 percent to 43.7 million.

Student loans represented 11.4 percent of the $722 billion outstanding consumer debt in New York last year.

Rising college costs is one factor in the growth of debt. The report found from 2005-2006 through 2014-15, average costs for tuition, fees, room and board for 4-year institutions rose by more than 50 percent for both in state students attending public institutions and for  private colleges in New York.