College graduates who are under 40 years of age and who have accumulated student debt have a median net worth of just $8,700, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.
That meager average net worth compares to a median net worth of $64,700 for college grads in the same age cohort who did not take out student loans, reports the Los Angeles Times.
How much is $8,700 these days? It’s not much. That amount of money will buy you a silver four-door 2003 Toyota Avalon XL with just fewer than 93,000 miles, for example.
Indebted twentysomething and thirtysomething Americans are also weighed down by other types of debt resulting from credit-card borrowing and auto loans in addition to their student-loan burden.
The massive debt frequently makes it difficult to save money for mortgage down payments, or obtain mortgage financing or begin to save for retirement.
When all debts are accounted for, the median debt for college graduates under 40 is $137,010, notes the Times. (It’s not clear if this amount also includes mortgage debt, which tends to be substantial.)
The total median debt level for college graduates who did not take out student loans is much lower: $73,250.
Median student debt for all Americans is just $13,000.
On the bright side, college graduates do tend to make considerably more money per year compared to people who never graduated with a four-year degree.
Households with a “head of household” college graduate under 40 have an average annual income of $57,941. Households where no one has a college degree have a substantially lower yearly income of $32,528.
“College grads with student loans are benefiting from higher incomes because of their degrees, but about four in 10 borrowers are weighed down with a substantial amount of debt that extends beyond student loan debt,” said lead study author Richard Fry, according to the Times.
If you are rusty on your math, median means the number which is exactly in the middle if every number in a group is lined up in numerical order.
College students and the rest of America’s youth voting bloc voted enthusiastically for President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. For example, Obama trounced Mitt Romney among young people by a margin of 67 percent to 30 percent in populous and crucial states including Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to a Tufts University study.
Career prospects for this year’s crop of newly-minted college graduates are looking incredibly bleak. Over 80 percent of all graduating seniors had zilch in the way of jobs lined up for their post-campus lives as of April, according to a poll conducted by AfterCollege, a website that connects job-seeking college students with employers. (RELATED: Just 17 PERCENT Of College Grads Have Real Jobs Waiting)