Expect to hear a lot about student-loan debt this election cycle—especially from Democratic candidates such as Hillary Clinton. "Let's make college affordable and available to all "¦ and lift the crushing burden of student debt," she told a cheering crowd in New York City last weekend. Student-loan debt disproportionately burdens the Democratic voting coalition: young people, college-educated people, African-Americans, and low-income people. But it's an issue all candidates should pay attention to.
The number of Americans with student-loan debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
At the end of last year, there were 15 million student-loan borrowers under age 30. They owed an average of $21,402, according to the New York Fed. Two-thirds of student-loan balances are actually held by older borrowers.
There are close to as many student-loan borrowers aged 30 to 39 as there are borrowers under 30—almost 11 million—and they hold, on average, more debt: about $29,300 per person, according to the New York Fed. Two-thirds of student-loan balances are held by borrowers older than 29, and student-debt loads are rising for every age cohort.