High Levels of Student Loan Debt Linked to Physical and Mental Health Issues
(Washington, D.C.) – Last week Gallup released the results of a new survey that indicates high levels of student-loan debt are challenging more than just an individual's economic well-being. The survey shows that indebted graduates rated the status of their physical and mental health 10 points lower than their peers unburdened by debt. High levels of debt make it more costly for individuals to engage in the activities that typically come after graduating college, such as buying a home, owning a car or starting a family – and a full 73% of young adults say they owe more in student-loan debt than they can manage.
The cost of college tuition has been increasing since the 1970s with the most notable jump being from 2008 to 2014 – with costs rising an average of 27 percent above the rate of inflation. Concerns over the exorbitant price tag of a college education has prompted some governors to consider reforms to bring down higher education costs so that more can afford college without taking on a crushing burden of debt.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"While today's millennials continue to suffer from an unabated economic malaise, the combined burden of student-loan debt and a lack of leadership from Washington is adding insult to injury. A recent NBC News poll showed that 71 percent of people think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and it seems much of that same pessimism has significantly affected our attitudes towards elected officials – the president's approval rating is at its lowest ever at 40 percent and Congress' approval rating sits at an abysmal 14 percent.
Reform measures like those to lower college tuition and the proposed income-based repayment – which has been garnering bipartisan support in the House and Senate – are a good start. Young Americans expect leadership from their government and demand that their concerns are put ahead of political self-interest."