How to Lighten the Mental Load of Student Debt

There is no silver lining to the kind of student debt that afflicts 1 in 4 American adults. Debt can wear down your mental health, renege on promises to help, and even keep you from getting married. But there are ways to train your mindset to best confront it.

Researchers from the universities of Missouri and Georgia have just released a study about financial literacy and student debt. Among Americans between 24 and 65 who were no longer students, who were employed, and who were their household's primary decision-maker, a full 55 percent said they were worried about their student loans. Just 30 percent said they'd received education about paying them off, and only 40 percent said their parents helped with advice.

Lack of information is a surefire path to stress city. If you'd never had any driving lessons, of course getting behind the wheel would be nerve-wracking (and dangerous). Recent studies have shown how debt can easily have a decades-long place in your life. While there are many ways to take care of student loans (including moving to certain states, if that's your jam), mostly what you need is education and momentum.

Committing to your own financial literacy pays off in myriad ways throughout your lifetime. Whether it's by seeking out classes, podcasts, personal advice, or reading far and wide, you're doing yourself a huge favor when you prioritize your own financial education. The system tends to fail us all on this front — but that doesn't mean you have to just take it.