(WWLP) – Student loan forgiveness is the main topic, as students return to campuses all over the country this weekend.

But is every college graduate struggling to keep up with debt? 22news is working for you on how bad the debt crisis has just become.

According to the Federal Reserve, borrowers currently hold more than $1.5 trillion in student debt. It’s the second largest consumer debt category after mortgages, affecting more than 48-million people, and more than half of college graduates.

On average, borrowers graduate with $37,000 in debt, but 10 percent of debt holders have more than $100,000.

“I think they should do more. What is $10,000 going to do? I have a student loan of like $100,000 what’s that going to do to my pocket? I still have to pay my student loan,” said Erika Matos of Springfield.

Student debt also disproportionately affects people of color, more than one-third of Black families in the U.S. have student debt.

From 1980 to 2020, the average price of tuition, fees, room and board for undergraduate degrees increased by 169 percent. In 1980, it cost just over $10,000 a year to attend a four-year public college. Today., it costs more than $28,000 a year and you can double that for private schools.

Increased student services, operating costs, faculty salary, and equipment upgrades have all played a role in making college more expensive. Also, state and local funding per student for higher education has dropped about 25 percent.

Following the Biden administration’s announcement, people who continued repaying their student loans during the payment pause, have an opportunity to get a refund. The payment pause began March 13, 2020.

Borrowers are being encouraged to contact your loan provider, to request that your payments be refunded.
You can find information about that, on the student aid website.