Making the decision to pursue higher education is an important step that can open doors and provide opportunities. As you graduate, it is important to start preparing for repayment of the loans used to pay for your education. Every 28 seconds someone defaults on their student loans from the over $130 billion in total outstanding student debt in California. The average student debt balance is over $35,000, making it difficult for borrowers to buy homes, invest, and start businesses. The State of California and the Federal Government offer programs and assistance that can help you pay for your student loans.