Student-Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Cards | WSJ

Further proof that the campus as market concept is huge and therefore likely to continue to attract entrepreneurs: according to the WSJ blog Real Time Economics, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt.

This is an interesting threshold, but what does this really mean?

As the article points out, rates are lower on student loan so shouldn’t people hold educational debt rather than credit card debt? Also, one is long-term investment and the other is short-term consumption.

From Mary Pilon of the Wall Street Journal:

In terms of volume, a person is likely to borrow more money to go to school today than, say, spend on necessities using a credit card during a patch of unemployment. Tuition at public and private four-year universities last year went as high as $26,000, with additional fees for housing and books not showing any signs of letting up either. It’s no surprise that many parents, reeling from the downturn, would turn to borrowing to make up the difference. With the cost of education increasing rapidly and the duration of unemployment increasing, perhaps the surprise is that this turning point didn’t hit earlier.

Student Loan Justice, a Washington State-based student loan advocacy group issued a statement on the student-loan eclipse, estimating that media coverage of credit cards exceeds coverage of student loans “by a factor of approximately 15-to-1 based on unscientific news surveys conducted since 2007.”

But student loan debt, in many ways, is different than credit-card debt. These loans typically can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. They have different repayment terms, some of which can catch some have heavy consequences for borrowers who miss payments and borrowers’ families.

Interesting piece that highlights some of the complexities of higher education and the opportunities for entrepreneurs to bring value to the campus as a market.

Student-Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Cards – Real Time Economics – WSJ.


One thought on “Student-Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Cards | WSJ

  1. Interesting post. I would be curious to see the long term affects on students who have had to rely more heavily on student loans than their predecessors. For instance the college students who graduated before 2007 in more prosperous economic times. Will they ultimately be more successful than today’s students students who graduate with a mountain of debt.

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