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Want to learn where the debt is? Check out the Student Debt Map for an interactive zip code experience.

The student debt trap hurts everyone — students, families, and society as a whole.

The student loan trap worsens the economic inequality experienced by communities of color. African-American college students are more likely to be trapped by student debt than white students, and black graduates owe $7,400 more on average than their white peers ($23,400 versus $16,000).

It traps parents and grandparents as well. Many older Americans have co-signed their children’s or grandchildren’s student loans.   There are 5.7 million borrowers between 50 and 61 trapped under $199.8 billion in debt, according to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Data Center at the US Department of Education. These parents and other older Americans may be forced work longer and postpone retirement.

Another 1.7 million student loan holders over the age of 62 are trapped under $55.4 billion in student loan debt. As a result, some senior citizens are having their Social Security benefits garnished. Many are forced to choose between paying student loan bills and receiving needed medical care, or paying their everyday living expenses.

For more information, check out a recent CFPB report that shows the effect of student debt on the elderly, as well as the growth in debt among older Americans over time.
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Student debt impacts millions of people, of all ages.

What would you do if you were free from the student debt trap? How would your life be different?

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