Should Paying Off Student Loans Be a Priority? What to Consider

Millions of Americans carry student loan debt. But should you prioritize paying it off or investing otherwise?

A graduation cap on a pile of hundred dollar bills.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 An estimated 44 million Americans carry student loan debt — that’s about 17% of the adult population. If our student loan borrowers were a country of their own, they would be the size of Spain. 

The balances run the gamut. The average balance for a recent graduate is about $40,000, with an average of $37,000 of that owed to the federal government. Of course, those are just averages, and many borrowers owe hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

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Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA
Contributing Writer,

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA is the Chief Investment Officer of Sizemore Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Dallas, Texas, where he specializes in dividend-focused portfolios and in building alternative allocations with minimal correlation to the stock market.