CNN reports that the average college senior finishing school last year graduated with $24,000 in student loan debt, an increase of 6% from the year before. As student debt levels have risen, job prospects have dimmed with the troubled economy, making it challenging for many graduates to repay their debts and get ahead financially. According to the CNN article, “unemployment for recent college graduates jumped from 5.8% in 2008 to 8.7% in 2009 — the highest annual rate on record.”
Many graduates having trouble finding a job to support themselves are choosing to move back in with their parents.
High debt loads and poorer job prospects will result in what I call the “delayed” generation – a generation of people that will be forced to delay marrying, forming a family, buying a home, and saving for retirement because of high debt loads. Anybody that’s ever had significant debt understands how burdensome it can be, and how it becomes almost an additional member of the household that has a say in every financial decision.