A recent study completed by IonTuition found that U.S. borrowers are facing higher monthly student loan payments over longer terms.
American borrowers are receiving longer loan terms and higher monthly payments, according to a recent study by IonTuition, a student loan repayment platform. The data shows that increasingly, borrowers are struggling to keep up with their monthly loan payments.
The 2018 Student Loan Survey Report looked at how more than 1,000 respondents are managing their student loan debt. The study painted a disheartening picture of borrowers in America.
The study first analyzed the average amount of debt per borrower. It showed 56 percent of borrowers took out more than $15,000 in loans while 11 percent borrowed less than $5,000. But 26 percent of borrowers took out more than $30,000 in student loans to pay for college expenses.
And the results show that most borrowers haven’t made a great deal of progress paying down their debt. Fifty-two percent of participants still owe more than $15,000 on their student loans. And of the borrowers who took out more than $30,000 initially, the figure has actually surpassed the initial 26 percent. This is mostly due to the interest accrued over the life of the loan.
Thirty-six percent of respondents pay $200 a month in student loan payments, and 30 percent pay less than $100 per month. The share of borrowers paying more than $100 per month hasn’t dropped since 2015.
Less than 10 percent of study participants have paid off their student loan debt within five years. And 10 percent have surpassed the 10-year repayment plan. Borrowers who have taken on additional student loan debt expect that their repayment period will last even longer.
And borrowers seem to be growing less hopeful when it comes to their student loan debt. Sixteen percent of respondents believe it will take them more than 20 years to pay back their student loans, which is up from 10 percent in 2015. And IonTuition revealed that 16 percent of the loans on their platform are delinquent or in default.
The report concluded that borrowers prefer student loan repayment assistance over any other benefit. For that reason, IonTuition recommended that more workplaces begin offering a student loan repayment benefit to their employees.
Thirteen percent of study participants work at a job that offers a student loan repayment benefit, though this is a benefit most respondents want. Overwhelmingly, participants said that they think employers should help their employees pay down their student loan debt. Most borrowers would prefer to have their employer match their student loan payments as opposed to matching 401(k) contributions.