Increasing student loan debt is rumbling through the US, now impacting firms and economic outlines that have been the nerve centre of the American success.
It has restricted the younger generation from establishing businesses. The government and taxpayers must be equally concerned about the scenario.
The statistics are astounding: over $1.2 trillion in unsettled student loan debt, 40 million debtors. It is not difficult to identify signs that the student debt is a complex issue.
The extraordinary levels of student debt are also helping to maintain and even aggravate economic disparity, weakening the prospect and social flexibility that higher education has greatly assured.
Americans generally feel that a university education is crucial to success and the available data indicate that university graduates would perform better economically than students with a high school diploma.
According to Melinda Lewis, associate professor of the practice at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, “You wind up disadvantaged just as you begin. It has reduced the ability of our educational system to be a force for upward mobility, and for an equitable chance of upward mobility. It is still true that you are better positioned if you go to college, but you are not as much better positioned if you have to go to college with debt.”
There are many reasons for the quick increase in the amount of student debt. In spite of the increasing costs, Americans wish to invest in higher education. The government also encourages students to attend college.
There is also the phenomenon of “credentialism”, several sectors expect excellent qualifications for jobs that may not need them.
The convergence of the trends has resulted in a continuous increase in college admission for over three decades, while the cost of college has gone up for decades, completely surpassing inflation.
As per a 2012 economic analysis by The Hamilton Project, a policy research group, “The cost of college is growing, but the benefits of college —and, by extension, the cost of not going to college—are growing even faster.”
There are several reasons for the spike in college tuition fees. Economists refer to “inelastic demand” for higher education, which has allowed universities to increase prices. Another reason is the drop in state financing for public education and the reducing subsidies for private education.
The ground reality is that the cost of education (private and public) has increased rapidly. The government has increased lending along with the private student lenders.
The growing market for student loan asset-backed securities known as SLABS has also contributed to the issue. The development has delivered many prospects for student borrowers and the option for individuals with exceptional credit scores to refund at lower rates. However, regulators are concerned about the scenario.
This is having an impact on the long-term socioeconomic outlines. Students affected by high educational debt are also choosing alternate career paths. Increasingly, students are shifting from social and healthcare sectors to highly profitable tech and financial services.
According to research, the problem of student loan blocks innovation and entrepreneurship. Experts are urging policymakers to initiate measures to reduce the burden on the borrowers. There should be transparency in the student loan application process and the government must develop programs to enhance the financial understanding and budgeting expertise of the students.