Student Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion

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posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:12 AM
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Student Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion


online.wsj.com

Total student debt outstanding appears to have surpassed $1 trillion late last year...That would be roughly 16% higher than an estimate earlier this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York...as more people go to college and assume bigger loans for education, they may take longer than previous generations to hit key milestones such as buying a house or getting married, U.S. officials and economists say.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:12 AM
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This story is important because it not only effects economy: it hits society - young people with big debt tend to put off getting married, starting their own businesses, buying houses, and other things that form the bedrock of our understanding of adult "normlacy." With so much debt on young shoulders, all of society is weakened, in psychological and cultural ways that go beyond money alone.



A trillion here and a trillion there, and soon you are talking real money.

I have no debt because I didn't go to college and I work folding shirts in a mall clothing store instead. A lot of people told me I was making a bad decision but when I see things like this, I don't feel so bad.

All my friends who went to college have stories like this. One such girl works in the clothing store with me. The only difference between us is that she has massive debt and I don't, and if layoffs come she's likely to get let go and I'm not, because she is supposedly "overqualified" for this job and I'm not. But it doesn't look like her (or millions of others) are really qalified for too much else.

What a mess.



Education costs are the most expensive thing for a growing number of people. How did education ever get so expensive? Especially when so much good information is available for free. It's a mystery to me, ATS. A conspiracy? Why did these expenses grow fast? And what will it mean for the economy, society, and individual happiness and peace of mind?




online.wsj.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


That political cartoon says it all.. a perfect representation for my generation. I was fortunate enough to get married, buy a house and all that junk before assuming those huge student loans. Makes it a little easier to manage, and I don't have to worry about if I'll ever have a nice home. But I do believe my pay off date on the house is going to be before the student loans are paid lol.


My generation is so #$! it's not even funny.. it's fine now that we are in our 20's and 30's .. but when we are older and have no retirement, and a tiny, tiny savings because of the huge debts we had at a younger age, coupled with a decade long depression leaving us with poor wages and little retirement savings... it's going to be a #%$ storm in a few decades.

(My economic perspective: Whenever you create substantial monetary contributions from a 3rd party source it becomes "easier" to pay, and also bill. This happens in EVERY industry that this happens. For instance, home prices exploded when credit was easier to attain. Why? Because it was money that didn't exist before, you sign a few papers, and you get the home. You never even see the money. Health care costs explode every year (20+% inflation) because YOU don't pay for it. The government does and insurers do.. when you go to the ER the average price for a can of coke is $5. Would you pay that in cash? Hell no .. but the insurance companies will.

Now when we paid for college in cash .. college tuition did not inflate as fast, and students did not come out with mountains of debt. But now an 18year old kid is told right away he needs to fill out FAFSA and goes through the process of loans. They don't see the money.. they don't even have to pay the monthly payments until 6months after they graduate. so it's easy to take out $100k in loans to go to school because you've never dealt with debt before. You don't see the money. You just get the education.

End student loans and tuition will plummet.
End mortgages and the natural wealth of Americans would drastically increase as homes will be priced realistically.
End health insurance and health care costs would fall dramatically.

I guess what I'm saying is usury is considered evil for a damn good reason.
edit on 3/26/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:24 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Well that's the thing. Its not the money issue that bothers me as the potential for social decay. I mean, we have a world of lonely people who get married too late or not at all, have no money, can't afford houses, can't afford savings, can't afford anything...its really scary. What's going to happen to society? Will society put up with old people dropping dead in the street?



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:25 AM
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The funny thing is most companies promote off performance, so a good position can be found if you can at least find some way in the door.

There is nothing a degree, diploma or anything else is going to do when a promotion comes up and your performance report is lower than the fellow next to you.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:31 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


You're right.. degrees mean nothing. Today they are like high school diplomas. It doesn't matter what you studied or what your grades were... you just have to have it. It's when you get into graduate programs that it really matters.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:42 AM
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I will pay my student debt when the government quits wasting my money. Until then keep calling me, I might answer one day...



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 02:45 AM
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Originally posted by boncho
...If you can at least find some way in the door....


But that takes a college degree, for most jobs that mean anything these days.

There were all these stories in the old days I come across sometimes..."man works his way up from mailroom to CEO," stuff like that. You don't hear too much like that anymore (outside of a few entrepreneurs like the facebook guy or the google guys). Seems like you have to join the debt-slave system to get your foot in the door.

It's a good thing I don't care too much about getting a respectable job. My life ambition is to be a mother. But so many people place their hopes and dreams on material success its got to be so frustrating.

I guess in the end not that many people can make it big. That's why they call it "making it big." But people's expectations are unrealistic. When they fail at these yuppie-ish goals they hate themselves. But 99% of the population shouldn't hate themseves.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 03:00 AM
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Originally posted by Partygirl

Originally posted by boncho
...If you can at least find some way in the door....


But that takes a college degree, for most jobs that mean anything these days.

There were all these stories in the old days I come across sometimes..."man works his way up from mailroom to CEO," stuff like that. You don't hear too much like that anymore (outside of a few entrepreneurs like the facebook guy or the google guys). Seems like you have to join the debt-slave system to get your foot in the door.

It's a good thing I don't care too much about getting a respectable job. My life ambition is to be a mother. But so many people place their hopes and dreams on material success its got to be so frustrating.

I guess in the end not that many people can make it big. That's why they call it "making it big." But people's expectations are unrealistic. When they fail at these yuppie-ish goals they hate themselves. But 99% of the population shouldn't hate themseves.


That is entirely true with established companies and some of the major corporations. However, if you take a recent start up with revenue from 10 million that doubles or triples in five years, they will take just about anyone on because they are expanding and looking to suck up talent.

The job market is almost the same as investing, you need to know where to look. Struggling companies fall back on idiot algorithmic calculations on who to hire and who to fire, who to promote.

Companies that promote solely on academic qualifications or figures that are not calculated properly will fail. Some people are good at what they do and some aren't. No matter the training.

Of course, failing in this day and age isn't so bad because of bailouts and all....



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 03:22 AM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


It's similar here in the UK. I finished my degree in 2001 and only paid my student loan off last month. 11 long years with a percentage taken from my pay cheque. It's not the greatest start in life to have all that debt hanging over you.

Because of my experience I'm now putting money aside for if and when my own kids decide they want to go to university.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 03:47 AM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


Oh, its only a trillion (/sarcasm). Ive heard student loan debt in the US is higher than credit card debt today. Thankfully, I never got a credit card.

Im about to finish my associates degree in sciences, and also another in arts, hopefully by the end of this year. Currently, im in a local community college. The prices here are not too extreme for me to take out a loan. At the moment the costs are around $300 per class. That still seems pretty expensive to me. The average student takes 4 classes per semester. which ends up around $1,200 for my college, plus books, which range from $50 to $300, although some classes go as high as 600 a book, sometimes more.

After I finish here, im possibly transfering to an actual University, problably UNT (University of North Texas). I looked into their costs and.....wow. A class there (literally, just 1 class) costs about the same as a full semester in my current community college.

Im still not 100% sure what I am going to do. An associates degree or 2 dosent really mean much in the work world, while a bachelors (extra 4 years for me) opens up better possibilities. Im still debating whether or not to spend that massive amount of money on a bachelors, or just try my best with what I have at the moment.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 05:13 AM
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A conspiracy?


Yes.

When I was in school, there was no alternative presented to going to college. You went to college ( in the UK you call it University) or your life was destined to be crap.

I was smarter than your average teenager and my parents were old school hippies and they actually advised me to skip College. Best decision I ever made.

I am 38 years old and have no debt. No student loans, no mortgage. In society ( my peers) I am considered to be a "loser". I work with college grads, in the same department, doing the same job, for similar pay ( which is above the national average for the UK). They all have debts, children, credit cards, houses owned by banks, and rapidly shrinking pensions, but...they are "successful" middle class...Pfft. I have freedom. To me, it is priceless.

I chose a different path. I went to work, straight out of high school. Oh sure, I did my share of crappy jobs.

It's over 20 years, and I find myself in the same place as university graduates. No significant difference in pay, but a significant difference in debt.

Student loans prepare you for a life time of debt. Once you own 10s of thousands for your degree, credit cards, mortgages ect; don't seem so bad.

For a small monthly payment you too can have the American dream.

In my perfect world, University/college would be free for people who are going into the HIGH Sciences.

Pretty much everything else can be taught in vocational school or learned on the job.

University/college isn't for everyone but, there is a whole industry out there to convince our young people that it is the only way.

The world needs plumbers too, there is no shame in that.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 05:25 AM
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Maybe the Fed should print 1 trillion in worthless paper and write the debt off if it causes too many problems. They seem to like printing paper so maybe they'd enjoy it.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by buni11687
 





Im about to finish my associates degree in sciences, and also another in arts, hopefully by the end of this year. Currently, im in a local community college.

Advice from one who knows.
I am 55 and I have an ass. degree in (doesn't matter).
All of those 2 year degrees spoil. If you don't use them in short order no one will care about them later.
After you finish the two a community college transfer to a real college and get the bachelors degree. They don't spoil.

As others have noted you need the 4 year degree to get your foot in the door for any decent job. It's not what field you choose (for the most part), it's the fact you FINISH. That alone tells the HR department you have a certain level of class and ability. Just don't pick a degree in something stupid like opera. Stupid degrees says 'I'm stupid". Go generic.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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Thank you for this thread.

I am one of the people who went to school since it was something I had always heard would be a good idea. It would help me make money and get a good career someday.

I also am one of the people who think it was the worst decision of my life.

I currently pay about $680 a month to student loans and that will continue for about 20 years unless I can somehow figure out a way to pay them off sooner. So almost one whole paycheck goes to them (that amount above is just the student loan payments and doesn't include any other bills like car payments, insurance, rent etc). I don't have a better job than I would have without the degree. So it was pointless for me. Unfortunately there will be no help for people like me. I just hope to never lose my current job since I will have no way to pay it.

I have put off getting married although I've been with my man for 8 years. I don't want to risk sticking him with my debt. I also will never own a home etc.

It's a sad American nightmare we've stuck our people with.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by samkent
 



As others have noted you need the 4 year degree to get your foot in the door for any decent job


In my experience that is just not the case. Unless you're a medical researcher, looking for the cure for cancer, the 4 year degree doesn't tell the employer much, OTHER THAN the fact that you'll take whatever they dish out because you owe thousands of dollars .

Graduates in the UK aren't finding jobs, and a lot of them are increasingly unwilling to start from the bottom, because they have this notion that four years of Uni means they don't have to. Sorry but no one gives a crap about 4 year degrees in History/English/media/psychology ect;


In the meantime I'll continue in my career in the high flying world of finance with my GED, alongside the University graduates.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by Merigold
 





In my experience that is just not the case. Unless you're a medical researcher, looking for the cure for cancer, the 4 year degree doesn't tell the employer much, OTHER THAN the fact that you'll take whatever they dish out because you owe thousands of dollars .

In the US it's different.
Most ads for jobs state they want someone with a degree in the field or years of job experience in the field.
Since most people here are applying for a new career the degree is what gets you in the door.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Partygirl
 



End student loans and tuition will plummet.
End mortgages and the natural wealth of Americans would drastically increase as homes will be priced realistically.
End health insurance and health care costs would fall dramatically.

I guess what I'm saying is usury is considered evil for a damn good reason.
edit on 3/26/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)


what you're saying is end the debt based economy i believe and i agree it's the scourge on our backs at this point in time. when so many gamble, win, loose so much without actually offering anything to anyone, it's bound to fail and fail hard.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by LoveyLadybug
 





I don't have a better job than I would have without the degree.

And most likely you would never have the chance for a better job without that degree. That degree is yours for life. No one can ever take it away.

Now it is possible that some one over sold you on the degree. Or it's value in the world. Actually it's likely that's what happened.

My belief is that anyone with a degree is a better potential hire over someone with just a HS or GED. This assumes that no one has any experience if the job. Especially over the GED.

We know for certain that you can read and write to a higher degree than a random person off the street.
We know that you can show up at prescribed times and doesn't quit when things get tough.

GEDs has the stigma that they quit school.

Don't limit yourself to only jobs in your field of study.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by LittleBlackEagle

Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Partygirl
 



End student loans and tuition will plummet.
End mortgages and the natural wealth of Americans would drastically increase as homes will be priced realistically.
End health insurance and health care costs would fall dramatically.

I guess what I'm saying is usury is considered evil for a damn good reason.
edit on 3/26/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)


what you're saying is end the debt based economy i believe and i agree it's the scourge on our backs at this point in time. when so many gamble, win, loose so much without actually offering anything to anyone, it's bound to fail and fail hard.

Without a consumer debt economy you end up loking like N Korea.
No car loans means no companies to build new cars.
No home loans means you build shacks like Haiti.

Think about the bigger picture before you end debt.





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