This is exactly how much of your paycheck goes straight back to paying down student debt

Shutterstock

Everyone knows the big numbers: 45 million student loan borrowers owe $1.56 trillion in debt.

Paying off these loans, borrowers say, is holding them back on getting a start in life – things like the simple act saving, not to mention bigger-ticket items like buying a home or even starting a family.

A monthly 20%

A new survey shows us exactly what kind of a chunk student loans are taking out of borrowers income. A survey by TD bank of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18-39 found that on average, people are spending 20% of their monthly take-home pay towards student debt.

The average total student debt held by those surveyed is $26,495, with the average debt payment being $579 a month. The average monthly take home pay of $2,689.

The consequences

Paying this 20% monthly nut comes at a price: 82% of student debt holders are “delaying” savings, and 54% have maxed out credit cards.

Only 61% are saving 10%, and 20% aren’t saving anything at all.

The little luxuries are strictly limited – 35% dine out less often; 60% do not take vacations, and 20% haven’t joined a gym.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda

While the majority – 61% – expect to pay their loans for “four or more” years after graduating, nearly a quarter (24%) think that it will take them 10 or more years.

The most interesting response is that nearly half of people surveyed (46%) said they would not have made the same decisions about their decision if they knew then what they know now. Of that group, 15% would have gone to a cheaper school, 20% would have taken out fewer loans, and 11% wouldn’t have taken out a loan, period.