Student loan debt isn’t just a term applying only to graduates. As it stands, the over $1 trillion debt crisis threatens to be even more costly for the U.S. government and tax payers. A recent analysis of the current situation discovered a series of problems related to repayment and the value of a dollar.

It was once considered that student loans gathered a large profit net for the federal government based on interest rates, but that isn’t true in today’s times. This is because, as the findings showed, delinquency and non-payment are a rampart issue. Over 3 million graduates are currently defaulting on their loans, meaning they haven’t made timely monthly payments. Another 3 million are delinquent, showcasing an increasing problem.

Experts are finding this growing issue is directly related to a few factors: one is that students and families do not consider the weight of how much they’ll pay back post graduation, so they may borrow in excess. Another is that interest rates have to rise in order to adjust for the lost value of money not spent today in repayment. With so many delinquencies, lenders are not getting returns on the loans made out, which may end up costing the government hundreds of billions in the coming decade.

What this implies for future students is more caution and scrutiny with their school and degrees of choice. While higher education is an empowering moment for many seeking a hopeful future, not all degrees can attain desired jobs. Additionally, time spent out of work or work that doesn’t pay enough simply extends the lifespan of a student debt, meaning thousands in possible wasted dollars. That, again, ultimately leads to more defaults and delinquencies, exacerbating the growing issue of a national debt approaching crisis levels.

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As it stands students can only do so much to handle this expanding issue. Numerous options do exist for repayment, but even with all the flexible plans there remains a void in what’s owed back. Experts emphasize a need for proper education when it comes to choosing the right school/degree, because a wrong choice affects everyone negatively in the long run. Families that want to see their children get into higher education should also be cautious when taking out loans like the Parent PLUS Loan and private student loans, as consideration has to be put toward what’s paid off in the future versus what’s lent.

For potential borrowers, caution is emphasized in their future choices. The only practical solution for the mounting debt issue is a public educated on proper choices, experts say.