Student debt is climbing and dragging our economy down in the process, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
In 2002, 25 percent of 25-year-olds had student debt. In 2012, that number jumped to 42 percent, with the average amount of debt ringing in at $20,326. The result? Young people are much less likely to buy a home or car.
For a long time, people with student debt were actually more likely to take out a home mortgage or auto loan than those who didn't because, as college graduates, they made more money. That all changed after the start of the Great Recession.
Now it's the opposite: Young people with student debt are taking out fewer house and car loans than those without. The Washington Post's Brad Plumer breaks down why this might be happening:
One possibility is that younger Americans burdened by heavy student loans are simply unwilling to take on further debt. Perhaps they're worried about their future job and income prospects, especially in this dismal economy. (Remember, students who are unlucky enough to graduate during the recession typically have lower lifetime earnings.)
Another (related) possibility is that lenders are becoming stingier. There's decent evidence for this: The study finds that younger Americans with student debt have seen their credit risk scores plummet relative to those without. Banks and other lenders seem to be scared away from people with student loans — especially since delinquency rates are rising. [Washington Post]
As Bloomberg's Kathleen Howley points out, many students were forced into student debt because, after the housing crash, their parents could no longer take out big home equity loans to pay for college. This vicious cycle has resulted in the home ownership rate dipping to 65.4 percent, its lowest level since 1997.
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In his budget, President Obama proposed tying student loans to the rate on a 10-year Treasury bond, which, according to Businessweek, would bring subsidized, unsubsidized, and grad school loan rates down significantly (provided the economy doesn't pick up). He also wants to expand the program that caps loan payments at 10 percent of a person's income.
Of course, that all depends on the White House and Congress actually agreeing on something. For now, it looks like 20-somethings aren't likely to get out of debt anytime soon.
Kinda an interesting read for those with financial interests.
I disagree with this statement
Banks have opened the door again to alot of lending since the original housing crash. Most standards for loan origination have relaxed for not only consumer but for business as well. I think where this writer was confused is with debt ratio. Most banks (for portfolio or saleable) are looking for a debt ratio of 45% or less. When you factor in the 100s of dollars of student loan payments per month and the decreased income we are all feeling this makes debt ratios the real problem not the banks "stingy" lending practices. Also when an underwriter looks at a application a debt is a debt. It all goes towards the ratio. Dollars paying Student loans, Medical, consumer or mortgage loans are all equal. A dollar is a dollar.
I dont know if any of you listen to Clark Howard but he is 100% against taking out a loan to pay for school. Alot of financial people agree. He would rather you pay as you go. Work more take less classes take more time to earn a degree and not have this debt over your head for 10-15 years or more. Makes alot of sense unless your degree will guarantee a high paying profession in a high demand field, Like maybe a doctor, nurse practitioner etc. Where you can pay them back quickly.
Obama wanting to tie the market to the rate is a bad idea in the long term. I am all for lowering rates but it needs to be fixed. It may save money now but rates can only go up from here so what would your interest rate be in 3 years? Setting up another bubble to break in the future when the rates shoots up and people cant afford the 20% rate on there $40K in loans. There would need to be a cap and a floor on the rate. The problem is it would make it a undesirable loan for banks. Also keep in mind that a bank will view a loan without a fixed rate as a higher risk (credit card line of credits etc). This would also hurt your debt ratio since they may (and probably will) use a higher payment than what your payment actually is since they have to account for the rate adjusting. Anyway... Good read but I have some different views.