Adulting, the now common idiom goes, is hard. And to many millennials, the grim realization that debt will always be part of their lives is not making it any easier.
In some cases, their debt load is so soul-crushing they expect to die without ever paying what they owe back. So how much does this problem have to do with the higher-education crisis the country is facing? As it turns out, everything.
According to a study by Northwestern Mutual, educational loans are the leading source of debt for millennials ages 18 to 24. And according to a CreditCards.com report, over 60 percent of millennials aged 18 to 37 are completely unsure when, or if, they will be able to pay their debt off. Among those who responded they are uncertain about their ability to pay off debt, 20 percent said they expected to die in debt.
But to those with only credit card debt, the prospects aren’t as grim, as 79 percent of millennials said they had a plan to pay it all off, expecting to be completely debt-free by age 43.
While many of the news outlets reporting on these findings urge young people to get a plan in place so they can pay off their debt, the reality is that government’s push to give everyone a college education is what has greatly contributed to young people’s debt load. And what’s worse, degreesare not actually helping many young people get a job.
Will bureaucrats and those who pushed for more government-subsidized education ever admit they created a monster that has finally gotten out of control?