The class of 2016 will graduate with an average of $37,172 in debt

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40% of Americans Aren't Repaying Their Student Debts

In terribly unsurprising news, student loan borrowers in the class of 2016 are going to graduate with a record level of debt, according to a new report. This year's magic number is $37,172 — among the roughly 70% of students who will graduate with loans, that's the average amount of debt they have.

The figures reported by come from an analysis conducted by Mark Kantrowitz, a higher education and student loan debt expert. Like other, similar analyses, Kantrowitz's estimates of average education debt have gone up with every new graduating class for more than a decade. There's little reason to believe the class of 2017 would be an exception to this unpleasant trend.

Wages haven't kept pace with growing student loan debt (though the starting salary for college grads has gone up recently), but regardless of what their first jobs end up paying, borrowers have to find a way to stay on top of their loans. Considering that a person's ability to repay student loan debt has a significant bearing on their credit scores, and as a result, their financial future, this ever-climbing average debt figure can be really scary for future students. (We recently wrote about a high school student who chose to not attend her dream school purely because of the debt she'd have to take on to do it.)

Ideally, students can find a way to minimize their debts by choosing cheaper schools, finding scholarships, earning college credit in high school or working to pay some education expenses, but even those strategies often aren't enough to pay for college without student loans. No matter what your student loan situation looks like, keep in mind that there are some repayment options that might make your debt more manageable. By making your loan payments on time every month, you can build good credit, which will come in handy if you ever want to get an auto loan or a mortgage — that is, once you've paid off that soul-crushing education debt, of course.

You can keep track of how your student loan debt and other credit accounts affect your credit by getting two free credit scores every month on

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The class of 2016 will graduate with an average of $37,172 in debt

If you grew up babysitting younger family members, then this position is perfect for you. Not only is being a nanny one of the most flexible part-time jobs, but you can set your own rate. 

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While the hours for this position may not be as flexible, working as an office assistant or receptionist for a major company is a great way to get your foot in the door. As a receptionist you will be tasked with entry-level responsibilities, which will give you a great advantage when applying to your first full-time job. 

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Possibly one of the most demanding jobs, working as a server in a restaurant comes with just as much stress as reward. The hours may be long, but at some restaurants, wages can be worth it. 

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Similar to working as a nanny, being a tutor is one of the most flexible job opportunities. As a tutor, you can help others in a variety of subjects. This is a great job for a college student because not only will you be helping others, but you will also be strengthening your knowledge in whatever subject you teach. 

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Freelance Work 
Much like serving, being a freelancer can be very rewarding financially. As a freelancer, you can choose which industry you want to work in and begin to gain experience while still in school. 

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Work-Study Job  
If you are a student who meets the qualifications for financial aid, you can apply for your school's work study program. Work study schedules your shifts around your class schedule and the best part is that most jobs are on campus and the money you make can go directly towards paying off your tuition or any other university balances. 

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