Most student loan borrowers regret going into debt

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A survey found that nearly half of borrowers have been paying off loans for 10 years or more

The college application deadline is closing in, and high school seniors are making their final decision on where to attend. But a sobering new survey suggests that applicants should think long and hard about how they will pay for their education.

In a survey conducted for Givling, a crowdfunding trivia game that helps users eliminate debt, 63% of people who attended college said they regret taking out student loans. The survey showed that nearly half of the respondents paid their student loans for 10 years or longer.

Nearly 25% reported that their current student loan balance is more than $70,000. Asked if they would do it again, 27% of respondents said the return on investment isn’t enough to justify their debt.

"The student debt crisis has surged 144% over the past decade, forcing 45 million Americans to shoulder more than $1.5 trillion in loans," said Laurie Farros, president of Givling. "While programs like PSLF (public service loan forgiveness) certainly help, unfortunately they don't go far enough.”

While elite schools tend to be the most expensive, the Wall Street Journal reports that getting into one of them has never been harder. For example, Harvard received a record 61,220 applications for entry this fall and has accepted just 1,954.

Is where you go to school important?

Getting a good job usually requires a bachelor’s degree, but it’s not clear whether getting a degree from an expensive college provides much of an advantage. The majority of business leaders who recently responded to a Gallup poll said it was not very important or not at all important where the candidate went to college.  

What students major in may also be less important than many students think. The same poll found that only 28% of business leaders thought a candidate’s college major was very important.

This suggests that students who are planning to attend college should give a higher priority to how much the education will cost. In the last three decades, the cost of a college education has risen much faster than the rate of inflation. 

According to Investopedia, the average college student has over $40,000 in student loan debt.

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