Young Americans are in a difficult economic spot at the moment. With the end of the Great Recession, they may have an easier time finding jobs in Tennessee, but these jobs do not offer the same promise that they once did. Additionally, many 20 and 30-somethings are dealing with massive amounts of student loan debt. In fact, 40 million Americans have outstanding student loans. In total, these people own more money — $1.2 trillion — than any other type of consumer debt, with the exception of mortgages.

In a shaky economy, it’s no wonder that many of these people are having a difficult time paying back these debts. In fact, 15 percent of people with federal student loan debt have defaulted on the loan payments within the first three years of them becoming due. This is somewhere around 600,000 borrowers who cannot afford to make their federal student loan payments. Experts agree that these numbers are likely higher for those with private student loan debt.

Student loans have had other negative effects on the American economy. Young people are delaying contributing to retirement accounts, are being forced to live at home with their parents and cannot purchase other consumer goods. As a result, lawmakers are trying to come up with solutions to the growing student loan crisis.

However, until a solution is found, many young people find themselves in need of debt relief. Even with a strict budget, many cannot afford to pay for all of their necessities. Tennessee residents in this position should understand that debt management and debt relief options may be available. Depending on the specifics in each case, people may be able to eliminate some or all of their debt.

Source: USA Today, “The long-term impact of student-loan debt,” Pooja Bhatia, Mar. 3, 2014