Millennials overestimate starting salary, affects student-loan debt

The average millennial earns $35,455.Daniel Hulshizer/AP Images
Nearly half of millennials say their biggest student loan mistake was overestimating the salary of their first post-college job and assuming they could afford monthly payments, according to a SoFi survey.
The average millennial earns $35,455. The average student-loan debt per 2018 graduate is $29,800.
A recent SuperMoney report found that, since the 1970s, young adults have only seen a $29 income increase while college tuition has more than doubled.

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If only starting salaries were as much as the cost of college.
Nearly half of millennials (42%) said the biggest mistake they made with their student loans was overestimating the salary of their first job out of college and assuming they’d be able to afford their monthly payments, according to a new survey by personal finance company SoFi. The survey polled more than 1,000 Americans ages 22 to 35.
The next-biggest student loan mistake respondents said they made, at 31%, was not understanding the specifics of the loan and interest rates. And 14% said the biggest mistake was failing to understand repayment options and timelines, while 11% said it was assuming they would have help paying off their student loans after college.
The average millennial earns $35,455, according to a new SuperMoney report that analyzed US Census Bureau data. It found that those between ages 25 and 34 have only seen a $29 income increase since 1974 when adjusted for inflation — a lot less than the $2,900 increase adults ages 35 to 44 saw, and the $5,400 increase adults ages 45 to 54 saw in the same time period.
Read more: 10 mind-blowing facts that show just how dire the student-loan crisis in America is
Meanwhile, the average student-loan debt per 2018 graduate is $29,800 — that’s not even $6,000 more than the average millennial salary. That’s because income increases haven’t kept up with increases in college tuition, which has more than doubled since 1971.
It’s no wonder that more than half of indebted millennials think college wasn’t worth it, according to an Insider and Morning Consult Survey.
Juggling student-loan debt and the increased cost of living expenses on a small salary has ultimately made it more difficult to save for traditional life milestones like buying a house and getting married. And what it’s done instead is minted the paying off of student-loan debt as the new millennial milestone.

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