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Thursday, April 18, 2013

New economic data is raising fresh questions about the wisdom of taking on debt to pay for education.

The amount of student debt has exploded during the last few years. The percentage of 25-year-olds carrying student loans rose from 25 percent in 2003 to 43 percent in 2012, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Of those with debt, the average balance rose from $10,649 to $20,326, a 91 percent jump. Overall, there’s nearly $1 trillion of student loans outstanding, more than any other type of debt except mortgages. High student-debt loads wouldn’t be a problem if grads were getting good jobs and earning decent money. Problem is, they’re not. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute documented many of the trends young workers have been reporting anecdotally for several years. Recent grads face much higher unemployment and underemployment rates than the workforce as a whole. Good jobs, such as those that offer healthcare benefits, are increasingly hard to find. And it’s much worse for young workers who only have a high school education. Getting a slow start on a career can have long-lasting effects.
When College Prevents You From Buying a Home

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    [“For the next 10 to 15 years, those in the Class of 2013 will likely earn less than if they had graduated when job...
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