However, the amount of student loan debt, federal and private, has been waning since 2010.

Be Wary of Private Student Loan Interest, Professor Warns

Still, Robb cautions students to make sure that taking on private student loan debt fits into their long-term goals. Students who proceed with the debt and then change course with their education or career objectives could get stuck with the debt as interest begins to accumulate.

“I would generally argue that there’s reasonable conditions under which borrowing makes a lot of sense, and student loans often times fit that narrative with the idea this is an investment in long-term projected future income,” Robb said. “But we have to account for the fact that many people get into education programs and, for circumstances — sometimes beyond control or different factors — may not complete those programs. And if you leave with debt and without a degree, that can be a really big problem.”

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