Student Loans and Another Impending Financial Disaster

Ron Lieber, of the New York Times, wades into the murky bubble of student loan lending, predicting there will be a real crisis in the years to come, if there aren’t already significant problems with the rising amounts of student loan debt.

According to the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid study, 10 percent of people who graduated in 2007-8 with student loans had borrowed $40,000 or more. The median debt for bachelor’s degree recipients who borrowed while attending private, nonprofit colleges was $22,380.The Project on Student Debt, a research and advocacy organization in Oakland, Calif., used federal data to estimate that 206,000 people graduated from college (including many from for-profit universities) with more than $40,000 in student loan debt in that same period. That’s a ninefold increase over the number of people in 1996, using 2008 dollars.

There are lots of ideas thrown out in this article for causation and discussion.  Unfortunately, you could write a book about this isse: from predatory lending practices, parents/students thinking with their hearts and not their common sense, schools too willing to take the money and not act in the student’s best interest, rising cost of private university and the pressures to not attend state school, etc. 

What fascinates me about this issues (as someone who’s living it, though not to the degree of many of the case subjects) is how much of a burden student loans ends up feeling. 

Want to get an apartment right out of school?  Tough shit.  Maybe your parents will take you in.  ]

There are all sorts of things college graduates don’t do because of their debt burden, things like spend discretionary income (ha! like that exists) to boost the economy, work in low-paying jobs in underserved communities, things that would have a tangible impact on the country.

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