It’s a correlation no one can deny. As college tuition and fees continue to rise (up 50% in the past 10 years), so does credit card debt. As fewer families have the cash to support college students, more students are charging their tuition, books, fees and other living expenses just to get by.
According to Sallie Mae, the average undergrad has a credit card bill of $3,173, up a startling 134% from $2,169 in 2004, and the highest amount since the organization began tracking in 1998. It seems that tenure in school correlates to debt as well, with seniors owing twice as much as freshmen.
This new study from Sallie Mae uses March 2008 data; due to the state of the economy since then, they warn the actuals for 2009 could look worse.
Fewer banks are issuing private student loans, making cash more sparse for the cliched “poor college kids.” While government student loans are still available, it seems the plastic in their hip-pocket is more accessible.
(via USA Today)