Student loan debt is a fact of life for many college graduates and their parents, with borrowers owing approximately $1.6 trillion in federal and private student loans in 2019. While some graduates easily repay their loans, others struggle to manage their debt.

Nearly one-quarter of respondents in a recent CFP Board/Morning Consult survey reported they or someone in their household has student loan debt. Only 21 percent of respondents with student loans were very confident they could manage and pay off their debt. Another 21 percent knew their student loan debt would be overwhelming and were not at all confident in their ability to repay.

The survey also highlighted the impact student debt can have on an individual’s ability to achieve important milestones, such as saving for retirement. Approximately one-third of respondents said it was unlikely they would be able to contribute to a savings or retirement account while paying off their student loans, while nearly 50 percent said they would not be able to fund an investment portfolio.

If you have student loans, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional can provide competent, ethical advice on managing debt while building a retirement fund and balancing other financial goals. Here are five tips to get you started:

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