How The F*ck Are 40 Million Americans Supposed To Pay Back $1.2 Trillion In Student Loan Debt?

by John Haltiwanger

The astronomical disparity between the total amount of student loan debt and the median level earnings of college graduates is staggering.

Accordingly, the issue of student loan debt is in dire need of careful attention. The total amount of student loan debt has now risen above one trillion dollars, and it is crippling an entire generation.

Nice to see $1.2 Trillion & U.S. College Debt trending, people are finally realizing the college debt bubble. — Marchella (@1Marchella) August 27, 2014

Indeed, nearly 40 percent of all unemployed people in the United States are Millennials, which is directly tied to the startling statistics surrounding levels of income. Simply put, when you don't have a job, you don't get paid. Yet, it's very difficult to blame Millennials for this considering there aren't many jobs available at present.

High rates of student loan debt have also made it extremely difficult for young people to pursue homeownership.

Thus, the student loan crisis is not only impacting employment prospects for Millennials, but also their relationship with the housing market.

$1.2 trillion in US College Debt is causing 33% of home buyers to put off purchasing a home: — Redfin (@Redfin) August 27, 2014

It's a vicious cycle: In order to obtain a job that pays a decent wage, young people must go to college. Yet, college is extremely expensive, so many students are forced to take out thousands of dollars in loans. Then, after graduating, instead of finding a job, young people face drastic levels of unemployment and an epically challenging job market.

As a consequence, the quality of life for young people in America has declined dramatically.

At present, 40 million young Americans are facing student loan debt:

So 40 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt totalling $1.2 trillion. Ridiculous. — Loic (@ICanDribble) August 27, 2014

The average level of student loan debt for recent graduates is a whopping $30,000.

So, with difficulty finding housing, high unemployment and high interest rates on student loans, there are a number of reasons to be concerned about the future of this generation.

Yet, there are still reasons to be positive. Millennials are incredibly optimistic, and they have strength in numbers and diversity -- it's important that this generation comes together to pressure politicians to find an appropriate solution to this crisis, before it's too late.

It's also reassuring that people are finally beginning to pay attention to this issue, so perhaps we will begin to see changes sooner than one might expect.

In fact, in June, President Obama announced the expansion of a student loan forgiveness program.

This is an important step, but it's still evident that more needs to be done.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It