(UNDATED) - America's debt crisis has been a lingering issue for some time. But one group of Americans are hurting more than most.
Student loan debt is on the rise as college students are taking longer to graduate and tuition continues to rise.
A recent economic study showed student loan debt has overtaken home loans and auto loans, with an astonishing $870 billion outstanding nationwide.
So how are Tri-State students managing their money so that mountain of debt doesn't come crashing down on them?
Amber Stath is a junior at USI. She says she's overwhelmed just thinking about looming loan payments when she graduates.
A study by the Project On Student Debt shows the average college student has more than $25,000 in debt.
Mary Harper is the Director of Financial Aid at USI. She says many students are taking longer to graduate. The extra years can mean extra loans.
Harper says USI takes a proactive approach. They offer students the chance to take a career assessment to find their strengths.
Amber says she's already changed her spending habits. Sacrificing the present for her future.
Harper says that's a great attitude to have. She says the best way to cut down on debt is to study hard, and finish your degree as soon as possible.
The Project On Student Debt study shows Indiana ranks eighth in the country for amount of debt per student at $27,000. Kentucky ranks 43rd with just more than $19,000 per student.
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