What’s the cost of college debt? The new EdAssist Student Loan Debt Survey, conducted by Kelton Global, shows the real toll goes well beyond dollars and cents.
People’s life plans are sinking under the weight of education loans; they’re delaying marriage and foregoing homeownership; they’re giving up passions and tossing career goals; they’re altering job plans and sacrificing further degrees, and they’re doing it all for the sole purpose of paying loans they thought would buy them a future.
The EdAssist survey uncovered a multitude of additional ways student loan debt is upending the lives and careers of Americans across all generations.
From newly-minted grads to Baby Boomers nearing retirement, 72% of people with student loan debt say it impacts their life every day, and 77% say it’s made it more difficult to “live my life the way I want.”
It’s a surprising picture of what “deep in debt” really looks like. Rather than opening up pathways to success, those big education bills are having the reverse effect, costing people in dreams and ambition, and potentially costing the next generation in creativity, innovation, and the next big idea.
What does it all mean? It means that the oft-discussed student loan crisis is more than a crisis of cash; it’s a societal crossroads. People are desperate for help with loan repayments. Nearly half (49%) said they’re so stressed, they’d prefer help with school debt over budgeting (30%), credit card debt (28%), and even retirement (42%).
For more detail and analysis of the survey findings, see the EdAssist report “Student Loan Debt: Who’s Paying the Price?”
The EdAssist Student Loan Debt Survey was conducted between March 14 and March 21, 2016 among 1,024 Americans 18+ with student loan debt, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure a reliable representation of the U.S. population 18 and over.