Student loans, and other debt

Student loans, and other debt

April 3rd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

A government study finds that student-loan debt has reached the frightening figure of $1 trillion!

That's shocking. But is it "good" or "bad"? Does it mean more young people are getting a fine education? Does it mean more are getting deep in debt? The answer to both questions is yes.

A college degree can be a path to a good job and a more fulfilling life in many ways. But when young adults leave college with a massive debt load, it limits their ability to do things such as buy a house.

And what of students who borrow a good deal of money for college but then do not complete their degrees? They face the worst of both worlds: high student debt but little to show for it.

In addition, we Americans carry credit card debt that is nearly as great as the $1 trillion student loan debt figure.

And most troubling of all, our national debt is a staggering $15.5 trillion - and growing. Yet Congress and the president seem incapable of even beginning to reduce that debt.

How we handle our debt - both individually and nationally - has huge implications for our individual finances and for the future of our economy as a whole.

But there are painfully few indications that we are ready to confront the debt problem realistically. So, unfortunately, we will face serious consequences.