The articles this week bring up an interesting point. College, though seen as an investment in one’s future, the loans used to pay for it are a huge financial burden. I know plenty of students who are $100,000 in debt. I know some who are $30,000 in debt. No matter what the cost, some students have to face the reality of paying $900 each month in loan repayments alone, like Kelsey Griffith in the NYTimes article. Personally, I do not have any debt because my parents saved money for my college fund. I am very lucky and I thank my parents constantly for all that they have afforded me. Now when I look at life after college I am not burdened with the though of loan repayments.
The NYTimes article compares college debt to the housing crisis. Lenders are allowing people to take on loans they cannot actually afford. Students, for the most part, have no credit; therefore have no visible means to pay the loans back. When the job market was good lenders could bank on students getting jobs right out of college so the repayment process wouldn’t be so harsh. However, in recent years the market has been less than desirable. This means many students are out of school, required to pay off a mountain of debt with no job.
I asked my students about loans one day and one said this to me: “I’m not worried about loans because in 25 years I can default. Twenty-five years is nothing.” I was shocked! What type of mentality is that?! Do people not see how large of a chunk of life that will be? Clearly this student is ignorant to the effects of debt on the future but is every student like that? I think it would be fascinating to do a study to ascertain the answers to these questions.