Student Loans And The Big Picture

“To get a good job, you need a good education.”

That has been a theme for decades.

Well, just how many good jobs are out there, compared to how many college students?

Unemployment predicted to be higher than normal for:  8 more years.

That is the consensus unemployment forecast of economists surveyed by the Associated Press.

How about housing, the main asset of Americans, the biggest sector of  the non-service part of our economy?

Just googled it, seems most are predicting modest increases for next year.

Don’t believe it.

Things are worse in Michigan, but the foreclosure crisis is national.

Check out the linked to article in the sentence above, shadow inventory of around ten months.

This means, at current sale rates, it would take ten months just to clear out the homes that the mortgage companies have foreclosed, and taken title to, but have not even put up for sale yet.

The Wall Street Journal article says:  And that the shadow inventory of distressed loans will stay at elevated levels through 2016.

Some estimates, like mine, are that the economy will get worse (see unemployment article above) which will lower demand for homes, which, lowers the market price.

So, it takes people with jobs to buy houses, it takes people buying houses and/or fewer homes for sale, to get home prices back up.

So far, 0 for 2.

In this context, how much should you or your kids borrow for that college degree?

Borrowing for college must be analyzed.

If you are doing it for economic reasons, consider, total cost and anticipated return.

In figuring the cost, don’t forget the 4 or more income earning years foregone for the higher education route.

Of course, I have been discussing generalities.

Local housing, and employment, markets vary widely.

As do college majors.

Kids do not have to go to college right out of high school.

I know so many who are there, who do not know what they want to do.

That is fine, when did we decide that we can make these life determinative decisions at 17 or 18?

But you sure as heck should not be borrowing money to pay for years of college that are aimless.

Student Loans And The Big Picture

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