With almost one out of five (19%) of the nation’s households owing student debt in 2010, averaging $45,000 and total student debt passing $1 trillion dollars – an amount greater than what Americans owe on either auto loans or credit cards – student debt is like a yoke keeping many people from owning a home, buying a vehicle, getting married, having children, starting a business activities vital to the economy and the future. Two-thirds of 2011 graduates owe on average #26,000m, accpording to a new report.
In addition to carrying debt, Generation Y – people born between 1982 and 2000 – are most likely to hold low-paying jobs, many unable to sustain their student loan payments. Bankruptcy – the tool made available to Americans since the founding of the nation – is virtually unavailable to relieve student debt.
Fear is growing among economists and credit rating companies like Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s that student debt will be the next economic bubble to burst with consequences, both economic and for the nation’s political stability. Already reports of suicides by people overwhelmed by their student loans.
Another consequence is the growing questioning of the value of a college degree with so many graduates unable to find work in their degree fields, taking lower paying jobs. One in three college graduates have jobs that don’t require a degree.
So what is to be done?
- First, some kind of program of debt forgiveness needs to be established.
- Second, the bankruptcy law needs reform so people can restart their lives.
- Third, the cost higher education needs to become affordable once again. Fortunately, online education offers hope for this happening.
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