Many millennials are now questioning whether it was wise to have burdened themselves with debt to finance a higher education.
Indeed, "more than half of older millennials with student debt say their student loans weren't worth it."
Here's an excerpt from an April 8 CNBC article:
Older millennials entered adulthood around the time of the 2008 financial crisis, which was followed by higher education funding cuts, rising college costs and slow wage growth. The result: Millennials became the student debt generation.
Even as the oldest millennials turn 40 this year and approach middle age, student debt continues to follow them.
According to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 33 to 40, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CNBC Make It, respondents took out an average $21,880 in student loans for their education. Just 32% of those who took out loans have entirely paid them off, meaning the majority (68%) of older millennials are still paying down their student debt a decade or so later.
And while college degree holders are generally better off -- enjoying improved job security, longer life expectancies, higher earnings and greater financial stability -- more than half (52%) of older millennials with student debt say their loans weren't worth it.
Robert Prechter's 2020 edition of Conquer the Crash explained how student loans fit into the big picture of total debt:
One of the things keeping total debt from falling further is the tremendous increase in student loans, as you can see in [the chart]. Total student debt has reached $1.64 trillion. Although this is private debt held by individuals, it is promoted and backed by the government. These are the same conditions that jacked up real estate debts and prices before the last bust.