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Here's What Student Loan Debt Is Doing To Your Mind

Don't have a panic attack, but research shows how college loans affect your mental health.

The class of 2013 graduated from college with big career plans, dreams to travel the world ... and, on average, thousands of dollars of student loan debt. Talk about a buzzkill.

Such a gigantic IOU can seriously affect someone's health, and we're not just talking about the occasional headache here. New research published in last month's issue of Social Science & Medicine found an association between student loans and potential psychological issues.

Katrina M. Walsemann, the study's lead author, and her colleagues analyzed questionnaire responses from over 4,000 Americans born in the 1980s. Those with student loans showed signs of poorer psychological functioning in certain measures. Debt has previously been linked to feeling "tense, anxious or nervous" and "difficult[y] getting to sleep or staying asleep."

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According to the Institute For College Access and Success' Project on Student Debt, the average debt for 2013 grads was a whopping $28,400. That number has been increasing steadily over the years, possibly because public universities are becoming less and less affordable as they raise their tuition.

Ugh. This is bad news for young twentysomethings, who are already dealing with the chaotic job search and the transition from college to the real world.

Even Taylor Swift is sympathetic to the student debt struggle. Last month she sent a fan $1,989, along with many other goodies, to help her repay her loans.

We doubt Taylor, as generous as she is, would be willing to finance all of our college educations. That means it's time to do something about skyrocketing student debt, and this type of research will keep the conversation going.