Understanding Student Loan Burden on Students Who Don’t Graduate College

Student loan burden is one of the most important things to pay attention to if you’re thinking about going to college. When you get out of college, whether you graduate or not, you’re going to have a lot of student debt. However, people who don’t graduate tend to have more troubles with that student debt. Here’s what you need to know about paying off student debt, especially if you don’t graduate.

How Long Will It Take to Pay Off Student Debt If You Don't Graduate College?
How Long Will It Take to Pay Off Student Debt If You Don’t Graduate College? Created By: OneClass

The Basics of Student Loans

The average student loan debt for undergraduates after four years of school is around $28,400, which means an estimate of $7,100 yearly. An interest rate of 4.66% is very common for student loans. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree tend to earn around 49% more than those without, meaning they may be able to pay off their student loans more quickly because they can make higher monthly payments.

However, even with the ability to make more money on average, people who graduate college still have more student loans, which means they still have to pay them for decades. Student loans tend to hang over former students’ heads for decades whether or not they end up graduating.

Graduating vs. Not Graduating

The Department of Education has said that college graduates have 58% of their student loans still due 12 years after they started college. With these numbers, it’s likely that they would pay off their loans within 20 years of starting college. However, 12 years after starting college, those who don’t complete their degrees on average still owe 84% of their loans.

Clearly, graduating makes it easier to pay off your loans on average; with these average numbers, someone who doesn’t graduate will likely pay off their student debt in 34 years, while someone who does graduate will only take 19 years to pay off their debt. Either way, however, students end up with a significant amount of debt.

Ways to Avoid Issues With Student Debt After College

There are many ways you can avoid problems with student debt after leaving college, whether you graduate or don’t graduate. First off, you can join activist groups that are seeking to reduce or completely eliminate student debt for people who choose to go to certain colleges. This can reduce your debt and others’ debt moving forward.

You can also look into refinancing options and financial aid for students who have student debt. If you’re currently thinking about dropping out, you can also look into education-based resources that can help you do better and learn more easily. That way, you can get through your college years more easily, making it less likely that you’ll end up having to drop out.


Student loan burden is a very serious problem that many people experience whether or not they graduate from college. However, those who graduate from college tend to have less of a problem with student loans overall. One of the best ways you can reduce your student debt after college is to do as much as possible to ensure that you graduate. Sometimes, that means utilizing third-party resources to help you study more effectively.

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