Class of 2011, Most Indebted Ever
That is the case according to a Wall Street Journal article by Mark Whitehouse. This year’s graduating class will average $22,900 in student-loan debt.
I would stop here, but the article also presents a defense of student-loan debt that is new to me:
Also, graduating with debt might not be all bad. If one buys the argument — popular among private-equity investors who buy companies using large amounts of debt — that the need to meet regular loan payments helps focus people on finding ways to make money, then high student-debt levels might help the country derive more benefit from its best-educated residents (as long as they don’t spend their energy creating financial products that ultimately blow up).
Wow. Before I went out on my own, I was told that getting a credit card, charging a few things each month, and paying it off would build some credit history and some bill-paying responsibility. I’m all for a little carpe diem, but it makes sense to invest five digits in something that at least can be discharged in bankruptcy.