America's college grads have earned an "F" in understanding their student loans.

According to a new survey, many don't understand how the loans work, feel they borrowed too much, and have the mistaken belief that they don't have to pay them back.

According to The Student Loan Report:

There are 44,179,100 current student loan borrowers, or 70 percent of the students in the U.S. Collectively, they contribute to a national student loan debt total of $1.41 trillion. Additionally, the average student debt per borrower is an intimidating $27,857.

The report polled about 400 students and provided the findings to Secrets. Among the highlights:

  • 27.50% of respondents incorrectly believed the Department of Education would forgive all, or part of, their student loan balance.
  • 53% believe there is a fee to consolidate federal student loans. It is a free service, but many borrowers get scammed this way.
  • 54.75% regret taking out the amount of student debt that they did.
  • 20.25% believe there are no negative consequences for the cosigner if they make a late payment on a private student loan.
  • 22.75% of respondents did not know their current student debt balance within $500.
  • 36% of 2017 graduates did not know their monthly student loan payment after graduation within $20.
  • 24.25% of borrowers plan on having their parents help them repay their student loan debt after graduation.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at