New Pew Report Says Student Loan Borrowers Struggle to Accumulate Wealth


We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

If there’s anyone still out there who doesn’t think student loans have a long-term impact on young people’s lives (is there?), some fresh numbers from Pew Research are worth a hard look.  The wealth gap is growing at alarming rates between those who are debt-free and those who carry student loans after graduation.

According to Pew’s new report, just released today, college graduates with no student debt have SEVEN TIMES the net worth of those with student debt.  Graduates without debt have a net worth averaging $64,700, while graduates with student loan debt lag behind at $8,700 net worth on average.  Pew examined the household assets and debts of consumers with at least a bachelor’s degree who are under 40 years old.

These debt burdens take a toll not only on young adults’ finances, but also on their general outlook.   Pew also reports that college graduates with student debt are less satisfied with their personal financial situation, and are more likely to question of value of their investment in higher education.

It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to get an education in a modern, democratic society.  A college education isn’t just an individual benefit – it’s a public good that promotes a more just society.  That’s why CU continues to fight for higher education reforms that will better ensure the promise of affordable access to quality higher education, including sensible reforms to the student loan system.

Are you a student loan debtor struggling to save, get ahead, or just stay afloat?  Are you worried about your kids going into massive debt for college?  If so, tell us in the comments.



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