Heavy debt loads are weighing heavily on today's college graduates just as they start out on their careers, according to a new survey.
   In the survey by AllianceBernstein Investments, 34% of the responding graduates say they have sold possessions to make ends meet.
   Also, 42% say they live paycheck-to-paycheck and 27% say they have delayed getting a medical or dental procedure because of tight finances.
   "Large amounts of college debt put graduates in a hole that can take years, even decades, from which to emerge," said Richard A. Davies, senior managing director of retirement and college savings plans with AllianceBernstein.
   "Funding a college education isn't just about those four years-it's about a young adult's ability to start a family, buy a house and, ultimately, even to one day retire," he said.
   The Internet survey of 1,508 graduates aged 21 to 35 found that 34% of graduates with college debt have sold possessions such as furniture, clothing and CDs to make ends meet-compared to only 17% of those without debt.
   The debt is partly due to increasing higher education costs, with recent surveys showing that the costs for attending a private four-year university have risen 5.3% annually over the past decade, according to the survey.
   Of those paying off college debt, 39% said it will take them more than 10 years. Forty-three percent of graduates with debt used a credit card to pay tuition and other college expenses, according to the survey.