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More Grads With Jobs, More Grads With Debt

By Sean Stillmaker in News on Apr 24, 2011 6:00PM

The U.S. Dept. of Education expects 1.7 million students to graduate with bachelor's degrees this year. The good news is surveys indicate hiring new graduates will increase. The bad news is surveys indicate two out of every five graduates are delinquent or short on loan payments.

Student debt has increased to an average $23,000 in 2008. It was $18,650 four years ago, the Tribune reports. However, employers are expecting to hire 19 percent of new college graduates nationwide this year. The first time a double digit number has been reported since 2007, the Sun Times reports.

Six months from now, new college graduates will start paying that burden of astronomical higher education costs. Total student debt is estimated at $896 billion. The problem is more students are choosing to not pay their loans.

Students must seek their options and know there are more available before they start becoming delinquent. Loans can be deferred if: the student is in a graduate program, rehabilitative or training program, unemployed, temporarily disabled or can prove economic hardship. If students cannot receive a deferment, another option is forbearance. This is when a lender will temporarily postpone or reduce payments for periods up to 12 months for three years maximum.