In the United States, students can borrow an average of $24,800 a year from the federal government for undergraduate and graduate school.
But many students in that same age group also struggle to find jobs that pay enough to make the loans repayable.
The Federal Reserve has announced plans to gradually cut interest rates on loans to about 6.25 per cent.
But students are still facing the biggest crisis of all.
The average student debt load in Canada is more than $30,000 a year.
About 20 per cent of borrowers have student loans, but many of those students struggle to repay the loans.
“If you take a student loan for undergrad or graduate school, the average monthly payment is $8,000, but the total amount is probably closer to $15,000,” said Linda Mancuso, a University of Toronto professor of economics and finance who studies student loan defaults.
At the moment, the Federal Reserve is planning to gradually reduce the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over the next several years.
The wage would apply to all employees, including those on temporary contracts and people who work for small businesses.
Many Canadians are still not getting a fair shot at paying off their student loans.
About $1.3 billion in loans are outstanding in Canada, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
In Canada, the student loan default rate is roughly 10 per cent, meaning that about 2.5 million Canadians have defaulted on their loans, according the centre.
But that figure does not take into account the many Canadians who default on student loans who don’t know they are facing the prospect of paying off the debt.
This is the third year in a row that the Federal Government has raised interest rates to 6.5 per cent on student loan debts.
For students in Canada with the highest average monthly debt, the increase will make a big difference.
If they default on their student loan, their interest rates will rise by almost 10 per.cent, to 8.5%.
That means the student will pay about $3,200 more in interest over the course of the decade, or more than three years.
Student loans are among the highest in the world.
The U.K. is the highest at 12 per cent and the U:S.
at 11 per cent with some other countries seeing higher rates.
According to the UBS student loan data, the median student loan balance stands at $1,958.
However, the amount of debt is much higher for those with student loans than for those without.
Students with student debt tend to have higher loan balances than those without debt, which is why they are often more likely to have trouble paying back the debt, according an analysis by the Canadian Institute of Finance.
One of the biggest hurdles that students face is that the debt can be difficult to pay off in a short period of time.
A recent analysis by CIBC World Markets found that only 5.5 of 2,000 borrowers with student loan balances had repaid by the end of last year, a far cry from the 10 per-cent repayment rate the Federal government announced earlier this year.
With many Canadians struggling to pay back the cost of their education, the government says that it has created a new program to assist those students with the first $5,000 of debt.
The government is also working on a new federal student loan program that would allow students to defer their student debt until their 20s, while also providing a way for students to refinance into a better-paying debt-free university degree, the Canadian Press reported.
But students with a student debt still need to pay their own way.
Some graduates are taking on more debt than their parents, and are able to pay less in interest.
In many cases, they can’t even get a mortgage, let alone a loan to pay for a home.
As the debt pile increases, so too do the risks for borrowers, said Michael Schoenbaum, a senior economist with the Canadian Federation of Students.
The federal government is taking action to make it easier for students with student debts to refortify.
The plan would allow borrowers with up to $4,500 in student debt to reframe their loan to help them pay off the loan.
The move would apply retroactively, and borrowers would only have to pay interest on the amount borrowed and would be able to refit their debt at any time.
The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternations estimates that about 5,000 Canadians have student loan outstanding, about 3,500 of whom are either working full time or part time.