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When It Comes to Debt, Age May Be a Factor

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- How much debt do you have?  The answer could depend on your age.

While most American households have reduced their debt load since it peaked in 2007, recent college graduates face a mountain of student loan debt.

According to the International Monetary Fund, average U.S. household debt is still higher than normal, but dropped from 130 percent of income in 2007 to 105 percent at the end of last year.

Many Americans pared back their spending after housing prices plunged and the economy tanked in 2008-09.  But the rise in unemployment made another serious problem worse. 

Many younger Americans either went back to school or stayed in higher education.  Student loan debt recently topped $1 trillion.

The Pew Research Center found that for households under the age of 35, the average debt load rose by 2010 to 150 percent of annual income -- sharply higher than it was a decade before.

Other research found that 30-year-olds with student loans are less likely to take out a mortgage or car loan than those who didn't have student debt to pay off.

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