Lifestyle & Belief

Record 1-in-5 US households have student loan debt


A young man holds a sign during an Occupy Wall Street rally against the high cost of college tuitions April 25, 2012 in New York. Scores of students and former students gathered to complain about the high cost of tuitions and college loans.



A record one-in-five US households now have student loan debt as college costs continue to rise.

An estimated 19 percent of households owed money on student loans in 2010, up from 15 percent three years earlier, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

More from GlobalPost: Americans owe more for student loans than cars, credit cards

The figure is more than double the share two decades ago, CNN reported.

The rise is being driven by higher tuition costs as well as rising college enrollment during the economic downturn, according to The Associated Press.

On average, households owed $26,682 in 2010, up 14.3 percent from 2007 and more than double what they owed in 1995.

More from GlobalPost: Congress approves student loan deal

The biggest jumps occurred in households at two extremes of the income bracket -- the very poor and the very rich.

According to the AP, more affluent families are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for costly, private colleges while lower-income workers in search of better jobs are enrolling in public universities and community colleges.

Total student loan debt in the US is approaching $1 trillion, according to a separate report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.