College debt is a problem for many young people.

Going to college is an important task for many young people, but the costs of these institutions may be worrisome. Not only are some of these expenses worried about by many, but the debts some can deal with is also a major concern.

Close to 40 percent of Americans have dealt with student loan debt in some fashion, according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Of this figure, 16 percent are in the midst of paying off these bills, while more than 20 percent have paid off loans at some point in the past.

“What’s strikingĀ is that the economic impact of the student loan crisis is not only following students themselves, but is being visited upon the next generation as well,” said Dana Markow, vice president and solutions consultant for Harris Interactive. “More than two in ten parents who have had to pay off student debt have deferred saving for their own children’s college education, increasing the likelihood that this crisis will continue.”

Close to two-thirds of Americans have avoided another expense they are interested in due to their student loans, the report added. The most common response among this group is putting off retirement savings, which was the case for more than one-third of respondents.

This aspect of a person’s financial strategy is an issue for many. According to a report compiled by MainStreet.com and GfK, close to seven in 10 young people have not started saving for retirement. Even with this lack of savings, more than 60 percent of younger consumers think they will retire by the time they turn 65 years of age.

Having an increased level of financial discipline may help some consumers get their retirement and student loan payments in order.

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