From the time your child, you’ve been told that if you want a better life, you need to go to college. Getting an education and the degree is the only way to be successful. But lately, for millions of people with student loan debt, that’s proving to be untrue. Taking out a student loan is an irreversible decision that is destroying lives.
Still, it seems like a worthwhile decision. When you graduate college, it’s a natural decision. Go to college, graduate, find a great job, and so on. No one hardly ever questions it. If you hope to own a home and be able to take care of your family, getting a degree will make that dream more plausible. But, that’s not today’s reality.
If you take on student loan debt to go to college, you’re more likely to have LESS money and more problems. These adult decisions about the rest of your life will probably get pushed back. You won’t be able to afford them. Yet, no one tells you this before you apply. It will even delay your ability to save for retirement.
How Student Loan Debt Affects a Person’s Life
The key to avoiding this problem is understanding how student loan debt will impact you. Don’t just assume going to college is the best bet. In today’s economy, going for a trade has a better return. It costs much less than going to a university and it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a job after you leave. Not just any job, but a high-paying career.
You might not think this is true, as it goes against years of teachers and parents telling you college is the only way. But the Federal Reserve released data in 2016 that proves it. According to their info, millennials who had student loan debt had 75% LESS net worth than their counterparts who didn’t.
That’s right, the difference between millennials who had more money and had less depends on who had a student loan. Even looking at how much money they had in their bank accounts, those with student loans had much less money saved. They were, on average, delaying major life decisions, putting off getting married and buying a house.
To learn more about student loan debt and whether you qualify for forgiveness, call Financial Helpers today. We’ve helped thousands of people overcome their debt and gain financial freedom. We’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at:
The Crisis Takes Hold
Brian Karimzad, the co-founder of MagnifyMoney, spoke candidly about the snowball effect student loan debt has on graduates. He spoke with VICE about the Federal Reserve report.
“This is the first time we’ve seen an update in this federal data since the financial crisis. We wanted to get a sense of how net worth has changed for people with student loans and where they stand, and how this has evolved from a simmering problem to a crisis level for many graduates—particularly people who graduated into the recession, which was ten years ago.”
“What we saw was startling in terms of the absolute gap in net worth. But one thing that was kind of interesting for us is the difference in net worth—and this is constant dollars—for people [who are under 35] with and without student-loan debt, is that if you look back in 2004, it was around $70,000. Now it’s around $80,000,” he said.
“I would have expected it to maybe have doubled in that time, so it wasn’t as striking as I thought, which may be a function of the fact that the backgrounds of the people taking on student-loan debt were probably similar-enough situations. That said, it’s clearly going up.”
Savings at Risk
The goal of financial freedom is to allow a person to be able to save money. To have money in the bank to cover emergencies and to be able to save for retirement is key. No one knows what path their life will take. That includes how the economy will play out the next decade. Regardless of how things will turn, having a major debt can set you back.
If you’re paying the equivalent of a mortgage payment towards your student loan debt, life is going to be difficult for you. Right out of college, hardly anyone will be able to afford rent, insurance, gas, and their student loans. It’s why a lot of millennials are still living at home into their 30’s. They get made fun of, but they’re trying to make the best out of a bad situation.
Someone who doesn’t have student loan debt has about $40,000 saved for retirement on average. Those with debt have about half that at $21,000. To save enough money to make it through all your golden years, you need to start saving young. Waiting until you’re almost 40 isn’t going to cut it.
The student loan debt problem isn’t going anywhere. Right now, the government doesn’t seem to care about struggling Americans. That means you’re going to have to make hard decisions. Educate yourself about your options and call Financial Helpers today.