Beki Grinter

Student Loans

In academia on May 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Last night, the NBC Nightly News had a feature on student loans. Two things about this feature surprised me.

a) If you declare bankruptcy you still can not get rid of student loans. They are the loan for life.

b) the total owed in student loans now exceeds $800 billion dollars. This number is larger than the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

They found students that were picking not to go to expensive schools and avoid life long debt. They found others who saw themselves owing $1000 payments for the next 25 years of their lives. I thought I knew about student loans and about the consequences, but I found this more sobering than I expected.

I was particularly struck by how they will enter the workforce (hopefully) being encouraged to save for their retirement while needing to simultaneously pay off their past.

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  1. I somehow managed to get my undergrad degree without taking out loans. I wonder how many other folks can say that…

  2. Not only that, but they must also take low risk bets to ensure they can make payments. At least it’s one of my calculations. I sure as heck am not going to start a business with large payments on loans even though I want to!

  3. To Rachel, me. I could myself incredibly lucky that I did not take loans as an undergraduate. I also avoided it in graduate school, but that’s because I didn’t qualify for loans (I was a foreign student, no loans for me).

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