Life Delayed by Student Debt
In American society, a college education and degree hold a vast amount of weight. “Successful”, is an adjective most Americans want to describe themselves as, American society says that college is a prime factor to help graduates move in the right direction towards success. A college degree is important to Americans because it can potentially mean determination, larger salaries, and a steady career. Due to the high increase of college tuition, it is making many Americans feel like college is not worth its penny. The drastic number of money that needs to be paid back after graduating is leaving graduates in enormous amounts of debt. Student debt is greatly impacting graduate’s lives.
Student debt is one of the largest amounts of debt that American holds. It is also the most popular, making many people’s lives more challenging. “Fewer know that growing alongside 42 million indebted students is a formidable private industry that has been enriched by those very loans.”
(Steele. 2016.) Steele is sarcastically stating the large population of Americans that have student loans. Depending on the university attended and the money granted, the amount of student debt per-person fluctuates. Leaving some graduates in more challenging situations than others. “’I feel I kind of ruined my life by going to college,’ says Jackie Krowen, 32, of Portland, Oregon, a nurse with a student loan balance of $152,000. ‘I can’t plan for an actual future.’” (Steele. 2016.) This woman encountered such a large amount of debt, it is making her hesitant about her future. To take out student loans, students need loan companies. Companies that loan student’s money for their college tuition, but the money must be paid back and with interest. Interest on loans can vary depending the company.
The longer you hold the loan, the more it will cost. Although the five-year plan comes with much higher monthly payments, following the 25-year plan will cost you $17,402 extra in the end. In all cases, the interest on your student loans means you’ll be paying more than what you borrowed to go to school. Even on the shortest payment plan, you’d be forking over $3,704 more than you originally received.”
Although $3,704 is not as large as the student debt itself, it is still a factor.
The high amount of student debt is delaying society, and affecting American’s personal lives. “More student loan debt means some kids are starting households later and moving from renting to ownership later than their parents did, which ripples throughout the economy—so when you don’t form a household, you delay when would purchase a car, furniture, appliances and utilities.”
(Peterson-Withorn. 2014.) Many graduates are postponing or limiting purchases on common expenses and utilities, because they need to save enough to have the monthly payment. A report from “Life Delayed” by the American Student Assistance, did research and surveys on graduates that encounter student debt. “According to the survey, 62 percent of respondents said their student debt posed a hardship on their personal budget when combined with all other household spending.” (Lanza. 2016.) Having a college diploma should come with great honor and relief, for all of the hard work. “While loans are intended to expand college access to a broader population, the nature of risk that they entail also produces the opposite result. Low- and middle-income students worried about the consequences of taking out a loan will be more likely to decide that college attendance is not worth the risk.” (Freedman. 2014.) Along with college, loans were put into place to help students no matter their financial background have the opportunity to attend college.
Graduates that come out of college with a degree are still not guaranteed a job in the field that they studied and not guaranteed a high paying career right away. Graduates that go out in the real world need a job to pay for all of their expenses, beyond what they owe on their student loans. Although students attend college so they can have a higher chance – or even a chance at all at pursuing a career, the career is not always guaranteed. “If we tell our young people that more education leads to higher earnings, we are not telling the whole truth. Higher education will increase the chances of a well-paying job, but there is no guarantee.”
(Parker. 2017.) Loan companies usually give the graduate a six-month curtesy period to get themselves ready to pay back their loans. It is not the colleges or the degrees fault for not being able to seek a job, there are just more college graduates than careers. “The number of jobs paying what college graduates expect depends on the needs of employers. That number will not increase because there are more graduates.” (Parker. 2017.) Loan companies do not usually care about the personal or financial situations that graduates may be in when they finish college, companies are mainly worried about the money being paid back to them. A website named “Money Crashers” that was featured on CNN, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal gives tips and “helpful” advice for graduates that cannot find a job. “Stay positive, reduce your cost of living, move back home, and put yourself on a budget.” (Slide.) Job popularity can have an effect on graduates not being able to find a profession’s. “At a median wage of $83,580 a year, the occupation with the fastest projected job growth, industrial-organizational psychologists, pays well. But, there’s not much demand for this type of psychologist. The field will generate only 900 jobs in 10 years, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook.” (Weiner. 2014.) Graduates may have degrees in professions that are not so popular anymore which means less jobs.
Attending college is a choice that is given to everyone. Going to college and having a college degree does have its benefits and pros. The rise of college tuition and student debt graduates encounter after college are a couple cons. Student debt is impacting many lives of graduates.
“Student Debt—Lives on Hold.” Consumer Reports. June 2016.
“How Today’s Student Loan Debt Is Failing Future Generations.” Forbes. July 2014.
“Student Loans are a Drag on the Economy and Society.” Forbes. February 2014.
“What Do You Do If You Can’t Find a Job After College.” Money Crashers.
“Why Sally can’t get a Good Job with her College Degree.” The Washington Post. September 2014.