Study: College Credit Card Debt Rises

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

A new study from college lender Sallie Mae shows that credit card debt among college students is up. USA Today reports that study shows that the average undergraduate carried more than $3,000 in credit card debt last year. That's the highest level since Sallie Mae began collecting this data in 1998.


NPR's business news starts with college kids and credit cards.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: A new study from college lender Sallie Mae shows that college undergraduates used their credit cards more than ever before last year. An increasing number of students used plastic to pay for textbooks, school supplies and tuition. Balances are also up. The average undergraduate had nearly $3,200 in credit card debt. Seniors graduated with an average balance of more than $4,000, and Sallie Mae officials say balances could grow even more this year because of the worsening economy.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.