(MoneyWatch) One out of every five adults 20 years of age or older owe money on student loans, and more than half of them are worried about this debt, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.
The exact figures for American adults: 19.6 percent have student loans and 57 percent are concerned about repayment.
A third of the debtors are not college graduates, and 9 percent of them possess only a high school degree. The high school graduates may have incurred debt by pursuing nondegree training or helping to pay for a child’s education. Some 25 percent attended college but did not graduate.
According to the study, 30 percent of college grads must pay back student loans, and 28 percent of those who earned advanced degrees had to borrow.
Amazingly, the percentage of Americans stressed about college debt is nearly identical across age groups except for individuals age 60 or older. The percentage of Americans with college debt is 57 percent, but that drops to 41 percent for those who are at least 60. Only 4 percent of these older Americans have college debt.
Hispanics and African Americans are about twice as likely to carry student-loan debt: 34 percent of blacks and 28 percent of Hispanics have it, compared with 16 percent of whites and 19 percent Asians.