I have student-loan debt that is well over six-figures because of grad-school. As I look back at how it got so high, I can see that it was a combination of the high cost of tuition and borrowing more than I really should have (after all, they made it so easy). I would bet that this is why most people have so much student-loan debt. Some politicians are pushing for lenders to lower their interest rates or limit monthly payments to 10% of the borrower’s income. I myself feel that politicians should also push for schools to lower or cap their tuition.
Either way, both of these approaches ignore the primary cause of student-loan debt: irresponsible students. Don’t get me wrong, I think that education is of great importance to our society. It’s a great way to lift people out of poverty. The problem is that we live in a culture that is far too comfortable with debt. In general, one should only take a loan out if they can pay it back within a reasonable amount of time. It seems that when it comes to education, people end up taking out loans without a clear idea of how or when they’ll pay it off. I’ve heard far too often that “student debt is good debt.” Nonsense! No debt is good debt.
Proverbs 22:7 says:
“…the borrower is a slave to the lender.”
The problem with debt is that it robs you of freedom in the future. In some cases you’ll be stuck working a job that you really don’t care about and in other cases you’ll wish you could do something else with the money spent paying back the loan. It’s a miserable situation. I think people would do well to remember that verse and opt instead to save up for school before they go or pay it off as they go. This may take more time, but it’s better in the long run. Our politicians would do well to encourage students to think more responsibly in addressing the current student loan crisis.