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Frustration over mounting student debt reaches a new high

Thirty-seven percent of households "headed by an adult younger than 40" now have student debt, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
JJ Feinauer, Deseret News Modified: May 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm •  Published: May 21, 2014
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Thirty-seven percent of households "headed by an adult younger than 40" now have student debt, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

According to the study, that's the highest percentage on record, and the indebtedness of such a large percentage of the adult population is having serious economic ramifications.

"There is a tendency among elite opinion makers to believe that debt accrued while gaining a college degree is 'good debt,’ ” Quartz's Mark Huelsman and Sean McElwee wrote Tuesday. "Like many pundit platitudes, this assertion is grounded in fantasy, not fact."

McElwee and Huelsman take the dissenting view that those who accept the trade-off of student loans for the hope of higher income are short-sighted.

"For students just out of school, upward of 15 percent of their federal student loans are in default within three years of students leaving school," they said. "Delinquency rates for student loans have continued to rise during and after the recession, even as delinquencies in every other form of loan—including mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards, and auto loans — have declined."

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