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New Yorkers’ student loan debt has more than doubled in the last 10 years

Stressed college student for exam in classroom

New Yorkers’ student loan debt has more than doubled in the last 10 years, according to a new report.

NEW YORK — New Yorkers’ student loan debt has more than doubled over the last decade, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday.

Student loan debt in New York grew to $82 billion in 2015 from $39 billion 10 years ago, DiNapoli said. The debt is a drag on the broader economy and makes paying for daily necessities more difficult for recent graduates.

“New Yorkers from all walks of life have found higher education the path to a more satisfying and secure life. But many who take out student loans face real difficulties in paying back their debts,” DiNapoli said. “New Yorkers saddled with college debt have less disposable income and often have to push off buying a home or saving for the future.”

The average college graduate in New York owes $32,000 in student loans, compared to a nationwide average of $29,700. The situation is even worse for borrowers in New York City, who owe an average of $35,100 each.

Part of the increase in debt comes from rising tuition rates. Average tuition rose by more than 50 percent in New York since 2005 – that’s more than twice the rate of inflation.

The tuition increase has more students taking out loans to pay for classes; the number of student loan borrowers rose by more than 41 percent as tuition rose.

College graduates with student loans are less able to purchase new homes and provide for their own or their family’s needs, DiNapoli said. The burden of student debt can create long lasting financial challenges for borrowers.

“Such struggles have implications not only for those individuals and families with such debt but also for the state’s economy,” DiNapoli said.