One-Fifth of Households Owe Student Debt

A record high nearly one in five American households owed student debt in 2010, according to an recent analysis released by the Pew Research Center.

The study, which is based on data from Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) surveys done every three years, finds that, at 19%, the number of households owing student debt in 2010 was more than double the amount from two decades ago and up from 15% in 2007. The report author cites increases in college enrollment and the trend toward students borrowing money to finance their higher education as factors for the increase in debt.

Related: Debt Payoff Testimony | Universities Increase Efforts to Address Debt

According to the report, the nation’s debt is owed by younger households, with 70% of total student debt owed by households with heads younger than 45. Additionally, the average amount of student loan debt increased from $23,349 in 2007 to $26,682 in 2010.

The report also reveals that student debt increased across all income groups from 2007 to 2010.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN