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Just how bad has the student loan burden become? Rhetoric of crisis dominates the current popular discourse, while a few voices call for calm, noting that the average amount of student indebtedness is roughly equivalent to the price of a new car. Obscured by the dueling perspectives and the attention-grabbing headlines, though, is a more disconcerting picture revealing that all groups and types of students do not carry the growing debt burden equally: Lower-income households, women, and students of color are most affected by the mounting debt.
There is no shortage of alarming news stories. Rohit Chopra, the ombudsman for the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, has likened the current student loan situation to the mortgage crisis, a sentiment echoed by Michelle Singletary in The Washington Post. Even Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has sounded an alarm, noting that service members should not have to struggle to pay off college debt given their sacrifices.
Financial aid experts call such stories sensationalist, rightly noting that they often focus on outliers. Kantrowitz and others are right to try to restore our sense of perspective on the matter.
Nonetheless, there is something unsettling to me about the focus on cumulative national student loan debt, average debt, or those statistically rare students with six-figure burdens. As a student of postsecondary education concerned about economic and social stratification, I wonder what types of students might be missing from the national debate.
A review of recent reports including those that disaggregate the data more finely is telling. Aboutloans are currently in default.
Analysis of data from the Consumer Finances Survey by the Pew Debt forgiveness papers term Center illuminates finer-grained contours of the student loan landscape. First, younger households are bearing the brunt of the debt burden. About 19 percent of households carried student loan debt inthe latest year for which data are available, compared to nearly 40 percent of households headed by someone under Over all, households under age 45 held 70 percent of all debt.
Younger households tend to have lower incomes and less wealth than older households. Student debt has grown for all income groups, but it is a greater burden for the lowest-income and least-wealthy households. For example, between andthe lowest-income households saw an increase in the proportion of annual income represented by student loans.
Instudent loan debt constituted about 15 percent of household income, whereas by it was 24 percent. This compared to 1 percent and 2 percent in andrespectively, for the highest-income households. In terms of assets, student loan debt represented 2.
Student loan debt may affect women and men differently. A report from the American Association of University Women found that women and men borrowed about the same amount.
However, women earn less on average than men, so more of their income was needed to repay the loans. In about 47 percent of women were paying more than 8 percent of their salary to student debt compared to 39 percent of men.
Similarly, 20 percent of women were paying more than 15 percent of their salary for debt compared to 15 percent of men. A synthesis of data by the Center for American Progress CAP also indicates that students of color may be disproportionately affected by loan debt.
Students of color tend to borrow more and to have higher unemployment rates, and they are less likely to graduate compared to white peers. These data show that while the average debt burden may not be an enormous crisis, the burden is being borne disproportionately by some groups whose access to education remains limited.
This alone is cause for concern. The growing clamor over loan debt should be tempered, though, with a clear-eyed focus on at least three points.
First, the so-called debt crisis is at least partially a consequence of a deliberate policy shift away from grants and toward loans as a tool for students financing their postsecondary education. As recently as grants constituted 64 percent of total financial aid funds for all undergraduate students compared to 34 percent for loans.
In grants and loans made up 51 percent and 40 percent of total financial aid funds respectively, according to data from the College Board Trends in Student Aid Report. These averages likely obscure differences among groups, but the point remains that to some extent this is a manufactured crisis.
Second, earning a postsecondary credential is worth incurring some debt. Third, higher education is often surrounded by talk of crises. Robert Birnbaum and Frank Shushok Jr.
Looking at periodicals from tothey concluded that concerns about college finance rise to the level of a pandemic crisis. It was the most frequently cited, accounted for 27 percent of all references to crisis, and occurred every year. To some extent, contemporary coverage of student loan debt appears to be the latest iteration of the pandemic.
How bad is the student debt burden? The answer to this question is not simple.large-scale debt forgiveness program would have done little to temper the collapse of house prices and expenditures, but would have dramatically reduced foreclosures and induced a small, but persistent, increase in consumption during the recovery.
“Any settlement for which the forgiveness of debt is greater than $ becomes a taxable event,” Graves says. “If somebody were to settle a $10, debt for $5,, the $5, becomes.
The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act was set to expire at the end of , and without an extension, any mortgage forgiveness achieved in a short sale would have been counted as income for homeowners. Term Papers words | ( pages) | Preview Student Loan Forgiveness for Public Health Workers - Problem Statement: Now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has finally been fully implemented, millions of Americans will now have access to health care coverage and to health care services.
papers on debt and growth, including our August 11, , Voxeu paper and our main austerity alone.
Almost invariably, significant debt write-downs, forgiveness, and restructuring are required. In our media interviews and op-eds, we argued for the need to change that is sustained over the middle and the long term. However, the evidence, as.
In Dias, Richmond and Wright () we show that when a researcher is interested in the welfare benefits of debt relief and debt forgiveness, it is sufficient to use the consumption capital asset pricing model (CCAPM) to value a country's debt stock (or the change in that stock as a result of debt relief).