The Demos report assumes a two-headed household, collectively carrying $53,200 in student loan debt. Servicing that debt chews up 7.5% of their income during the life of the loan, siphoning funds from savings and investment opportunities. These borrowers are more limited in their ability to build home equity and retirement savings as quickly as their debt-free counterparts.Over time, the gap between the two widens. “Nearly two-thirds of this loss ($134,000) comes from the lower retirement savings of the indebted household, while more than one-third ($70,000) comes from lower accumulated home equity,” the group says.
This is more evidence, as if any was needed, that American higher ed is doing young people a great disservice. Colleges should be preparing students for life as an adult by giving them the skills they need to thrive in the workforce. While some programs succeed in this task, many do not, and they still saddle students with debt that will dog them for much of their lives.[Ball and chain image courtesy of Shutterstock]