Got Student Loans? Find Out How Much You’ll Really Pay.

And let us know what questions you have.

More and more Americans are drowning in debt. About 44.7 million Americans currently have student debt, and in 2017 they owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans—more than two and a half times what they owed 10 years earlier. Meanwhile, it takes them an average of 21 years to pay off that debt.

In our September/October 2018 issue, writer Ryann Liebenthal investigates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program—and how some of its enrollees may never actually see their loans forgiven despite years of payments. It’s a rage-inducing story about America’s student debt machine and the ways in which borrowers are often cast aside by their loan companies.

One of the many issues with student loans is that borrowers often don’t get a sense of how much they’ll actually have to pay back. Interest rates, even at seemingly low amounts, can lead to borrowers paying back far more than they originally took out. We’ve built a calculator that can help you see just how much you might be paying in interest.

We would also like to hear from you: How are you reacting to these numbers? What questions do you have about your debt? We’ll work on answering some of these questions in a follow-up story. 

Adam Vieyra and Rowan Walrath contributed to the interactive.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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