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Study: Taking student loans for college can mean sharply higher overall debt

WASHINGTON  — Young adults who took out loans for college have significantly more overall debt than those who didn’t have to borrow for their education, researchers report.

A Pew Research Center study released today examined households headed by people under 40 and found those with student loans tend to typically have about $137,010 in overall debt, including mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.

That compares with $73,250 for similar households without student loans to repay.

“Young adults with student loans are behind in building their nest eggs,” said the lead author, Pew senior economic Richard Fry.

About 4 in 10 households headed by an adult under 40 currently have some student debt.

The report was based on an analysis of government data from the Survey of Consumer Finances as well as Pew Research survey data.

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