Many people look back at college as a fun, rewarding experience. But for a fair number of Americans who have since graduated, it’s also an experience that they are still paying for.

A new survey reveals that 17 percent of Americans say they still owe money on student loans taken out to help with their post-secondary education. Most owe less than $25,000, with only seven percent of people with outstanding student loans saying they still owe $50,000 or more.

Taking a closer look at the numbers:

  • 31 percent of American adults say they took out student loans
  • Of those who say they took out student loans, 53 percent say they are still paying off those loans, including two-thirds between the ages of 24 and 44
  • 21 percent of those surveyed age 55 and older who took out student loans still owe money
  • Only 47 percent of people who have taken out student loans have completely paid off their loans

“As the cost of a college education has risen, so has the number of graduates carrying a substantial amount of student loan debt,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor with “Ideally, students use their degrees to land well-paying jobs and quickly pay off their loans. But job markets are cyclical and careers don’t always go according to plan. Student loans can be a big financial burden, but there are various options available to those who are unable to repay their loans.”

For more information on student loans, debt relief and payment option tips, visit FindLaw’s Student Loan Relief section.

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