A Generation Buried in Student Debt
Student loan debt is shattering records.
More than 44 million Americans owe $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans. In 2008, that number was about $640 billion.
The balance of student loan debt is likely to continue growing, experts have told the Chicago Sun-Times. Some have likened the problem to the 2008 mortgage crisis — but others have said it's worse.
You don't have to tell that to these Chicago-area college grads struggling to repay their loans.
From right to left: Tiela Halpin, 32, of Evanston, who has a degree in photography from Columbia College Chicago and owes about $80,000 in student loan debt; Rick Ceniceros, 27, of Chicago, who has a degree in television from Columbia College Chicago and owes about $47,900 in student loan debt; and Jessica Barazowski, 29, of Chicago, who has a degree in biology from Loyola University Chicago and owes about $100,000 in student loan debt. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Mary Fields, 59, who suffered a graze wound to the forehead in a shooting in front of her home on May 18, stands on her porch in the 1300 block of South Lawndale in the North Lawndale neighborhood, Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Fields' home is in what the Chicago Police Department has designated Beat 1011 in the Ogden District, which saw the most gun violence in any of the department’s 303 beats between January and June. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Evi Levin discusses her life while sitting at her kitchen table, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. As a renowned musician and teacher, Walter Levin led; others followed. Now it’s his wife of 66 years, Evi Levin, who leads, orchestrating every aspect of his life and trying to keep the music alive as he faces dementia. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Larry Ciupik, an astronomer who retired after almost 50 years at the Adler Planetarium, discusses his life's work with the Chicago Sun-Times, Monday, May 15, 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
President Barack Obama headlines an early voting rally for Gov. Pat Quinn at Chicago State University's Emil and Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media
Chicago-born rapper Twista discusses the Sole Expo Sneaker Convention at the Lacuna Artist Lofts, Thursday, July 10, 2014 . | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Storm Reid, star of Disney's "A Wrinkle in Time," at the The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces the resignation of Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and discusses the creation of the Task Force on Police Accountability at City Hall, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Chris Rock on stage for "Total Blackout," his first stand-up comedy would tour in nine years, at the Chicago Theatre, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Jesse Webster, whose prison sentence to life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense was commuted by President Barack Obama, poses at 31st Street Beach, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Gov. Bruce Rauner signs SB 31, the TRUST Act, into law while surrounded by law enforcement officials and immigrant rights activists at Mi Tierra en la Villita in the Little Village neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest Side, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The legislation restricts local law enforcement from collaborating with federal immigration enforcement agents to arrest or detain anyone unless the federal authorities have a warrant. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Jim Robinett, senior vice president of external and regulatory affairs at Shedd Aquarium, who is retiring after 40 years, discusses his life's work with the Chicago Sun-Times, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Common sits down with the Chicago Sun-Times to discuss his role as Chicago's #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign ambassador and his effort to fight food deserts in the city, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a Hillary for Illinois organizing event at the Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Christine Ebersole stars as Elizabeth Arden in "War Paint" at the Goodman Theatre, photographed in her dressing room at the Loop theater Friday, June 24, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders hosts A Future to Believe In Chicago Rally at the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, Monday, March 14, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Lady Gaga joins her fiance Taylor Kinney and the stars of NBC's "Chicago Fire" to jump in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan during the Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach, Sunday, March 1, 2015. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn speaks with the Chicago Sun-Times and recaps his career over breakfast at Meli Cafe, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders makes a campaign stop and discusses criminal justice reform at the Village Leadership Academy, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Incumbent candidate Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka makes an acceptance speech at the Hilton Chicago after her victory on Election Day, Nov. 4, 2014. | AshleeRezin/Sun-Times