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Student Debt

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A new report released this week shows that students are drowning in credit card debt. The Nellie Mae (Sallie Mae’s daughter) study suggests that student credit card debt may eventually contribute to student loan defaults. The research also revealed that average credit card debt among students rose from $1,879 to $2,748 between 1998 and 2000. The study showed that nearly one in four students with credit card debt owe more than $3,000 and that nearly 10% of students owe more than $7,000, down slightly from 1998. The study, which analyzed the credit card behavior of Nellie Mae student loan applicants last year, also found the percentage of students with credit cards rose from 67% in 1998 to 78% in 2000; the average number of credit cards per student fell from 3.5 cards to three cards in two years; the percentage of students with four or more credit cards rose from 27% in 1998 to 32% in 2000; and the percentage of graduate students with credit cards remained unchanged for the past two years at 95%.

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