Healthcare workers struggle the most with student loan debt



Healthcare workers are not only feeling great stress because of the Covid crisis, but according to research by Fidelity Investments, they are also burdened with the highest student loan debt – nearly $ 10,000 of more than those in the next heaviest industry, on average.

Data from Fidelity’s Student Debt Tool, derived from nearly 200,000 reported loans, showed that private healthcare workers and social workers have an average student loan balance of $ 72,800 and pay an average of $ 690 per month. .

Those working in higher education are next hit the hardest, with an average loan balance of $ 63,100 and an average monthly payment of $ 590. Those working in nonprofit health care have $ 56,000 in debt and an average monthly payment of $ 530, while professional employees in scientific and technical services have an average of $ 53,000 in debt and an average monthly payment. of $ 560. Those working in information services have $ 47,700 in loan debt and an average monthly payment of $ 480.

Of the 44 million Americans with an estimated $ 1.67 trillion in student debt, baby boomers are hit hardest, data shows, in part because of the Parent PLUS loans they’ve secured for their children . They have an average loan debt of $ 57,000 with an average interest rate of 6.2% and an average loan repayment of $ 600. Gen X has an average loan debt of $ 51,900, with an average interest rate of 5.4% and an average payment of $ 480. And Millennials have a loan balance of $ 46,800 with an average interest rate of 5.3% and an average loan repayment of $ 490.

Many people also neglect or tap into their retirement savings to pay off student loan debt, research has shown. More than a third contributed zero to just 5% of their salary to their 401 (k). Seven percent have contributed nothing, while 19% have an outstanding loan on their 401 (k).

A provision in the CARES law last year allowed employers to help their employees pay off student debt. The provision was due to expire at the end of 2020, but the December stimulus package provided for a five-year extension, until December 31, 2025.

The provision, Fidelity noted, allows employers to contribute up to $ 5,250 to an employee’s student loans each year, and the money paid is considered tax-free for both the employee and the employer.

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