Student loans are affecting people’s ability to achieve financial security more than ever before.
With more than 42 million Americans currently holding a combined $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, students are being forced to alter their plans for future housing, relationships, and retirement, as they struggle to pay off the education that our country deems necessary to be able to afford those things in the first place.
According to a graduate of The College of New Jersey’s class of 2017, “our education system is broken and predatory…[as] young Americans are being lured by big businesses into taking out loans.”
And unfortunately, this is more true than some people may realize. In today’s society, student loans are straying far from their original purpose of benefitting the student, but rather filling the pockets of businesses and corporations. A recent Consumer Reports article declared that “just about everyone in the student loan industry makes money off of the students – the banks, private investors, even the federal government.”
So if all of these companies are so focused on making money for themselves, how are college students and recent grads supposed to save their own?
The TCNJ graduate, whose starting salary averages $35,000-50,000/year, nearly matches that of her roughly $30,000/year combined tuition and housing fees at the College. And for her, a year post-graduation, “my loans are [still] my biggest bill to pay.” She expects to live at home for the next few years in order to save money.
A current student at Northeastern University, whose combined tuition/room and board rate averages at around $56,000 a year, claims that she “cannot take out enough [loans] to cover my living expenses and housing, [so] I will have to find an immediate payment method, usually my savings.” Therefore, she will have to “pay [her loans] off slowly in 10+ years.”
If she chooses a typical IDR plan, she could expect to be repaying these loans for up to 20-25 years.
Thus college students are at a standstill as the age-old adage “you have to spend money to make money” gets repeatedly crammed down our throats.
But in this day and age, that could take us nearly three decades.
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