Currently, in the United States...
Auto Loan Debt is about $1.3 Trillion
Credit Card Debt is about $1 Trillion
Student Loan Debt is about $1.5 Trillion
These numbers may vary some, but these are the numbers I've seen reported in the past few months.
If you go to Youtube, and search for: STUDENT LOAN DEBT, you'll find many stories and testimonials of students who are deep in debt - many in the $25,000 to $90,000 range, and others into the $100,000 to $250,000 range.
This is nothing less than a disaster and a crisis.
Some students who've taken on significant amounts of debt have dropped out, while many graduates either don't have a full-time job or working in a job NOT in their major field of study.
It seems, over the past 10 to 20 years, high school students were "taught" that a college education is something necessary for a prosperous future.
I think the problem stems from a lack of education in high school, and earlier, particularly in economics and finance.
Many, if not most high school students, haven't been taught the virtues and importance of non-college-degree professions, such as welding, auto repair, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and so on, which may be best learned in specialized training programs or apprenticeships.
Hands-on and self learning can be the best path to a great profession, and could even lead to the entrepreneurial spirit being unleashed - leading to starting your own business, once you've developed your skills and knowledge.
The big problem now, which is a major crisis, is that way too many "educated" borrowers have an almost-impossible burden of debt, which could easily take 10 to 20 years to pay off. And certainly, there will be many defaults. And, unlike bad car loans or mortgages, an education can't be repossessed or foreclosed on by the lenders.
The debt also makes it impossible for many to buy a house, car, or even to make ends meet by the end of each month, for things like gas, groceries, clothing and health costs.
Many of those, giving testimonials on Youtube, tell their own stories of having to live with a relative, such as a grandmother, having to delay starting a family, and having to cut back on little things, such as a daily cup of coffee from Starbucks.
Often, those making the testimonials, own up to their responsibility, saying something like, "Nobody forced me to sign up for the loans..." But many think their loans were unfair - that the costs are so high, and that they were not "taught" about how compounding interest on their loans would pile up so much, increasing their debt by magnitudes beyond their ability to handle it.
Going forward, with this unprecedented debt burden on so many, the economy will suffer greatly. There will be many fewer new homeowners, many less new car sales, much less retail shopping and fewer cups of coffee.
While a lot of damage has already been done, if things are going to change for the better, in the future, EDUCATION MUST CHANGE!
Students should be taught more about non-college-degree types of skills and professions.
Education must include the basics of economics and finance, and should start as early as the 3rd or 4th grade.
The image used in this post is by Youtuber JubiLISA from her video published on Feb 26, 2018. Her story is one of MANY!