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Upper-Middle-Income Families See Biggest Jump in Student-Loan Burden

The percentage of households that have student-loan debt is on the rise, The Wall Street Journal reports, and the increase has been sharpest among upper-middle-income families. In its analysis, the Journal defined upper-middle-income households as those with annual incomes between the 80th and 95th percentiles, a range covering from a little over $94,000 to about $205,000.

Among that group, 25.6 percent had student-loan debt in 2010, up from 19.5 percent in 2007. For all households, the portion with student-loan debt rose to 19.1 percent in 2010, compared with 15.2 percent in 2007. The average amount borrowed among upper-middle-income families also rose more sharply than did borrowing among lower-income households.

The added financial pressure could affect college-choice decisions, the newspaper said, and make it difficult for all but the most selective colleges to keep pushing through large tuition increases.

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