A brief search for information on the “student loan crisis” returns dozens upon dozens of pages, most of which certainly focus on the idea that there’s cause for alarm in this area of finance. That’s to be expected if you begin by searching for an association between student loans and the word “crisis.” Some observers of this sector of the economy agree there’s reason for concern, but only in part.

In this view, shared by several individuals, it’s true that the total of outstanding loans, the balance, has increased over a period of years, to more than $1 trillion in the U.S. by the end of 2015 and £100 billion in the UK, according to recent figures. But these same observers state that when you look at the subject from a slightly different angle, the view is not as cloudy as you might think. Their argument is that the students who do have loan balances are able to pay because they are earning more thanks to their level of education.

The Opposite?

On the other hand, there are the financial experts and advisers who believe there are problems with both areas. They see the total of student loans increasing at an alarming rate, just as the other school of thought notes. But this group takes the viewpoint that those same students are not able to keep up with their payments because they don’t get jobs that pay sufficiently.

Entire books can be written on this subject, dissecting all the numbers and details to prove this opinion or that theory. But in this limited space, it’s enough to admit there are individuals who have graduated from university (or soon will) who will struggle to keep up with the financial demands of being out in the “real” world. The problem is real enough for those who are truly struggling to pay back the money they borrowed to get an education.

It’s important to understand one key detail that applies to most student loans: In the UK and in the United States it’s not possible to discharge this type of loan with bankruptcy. If you have a student loan, you’re going to have to pay the money back to the lender, even if the process takes several years.

Thousands Are in Debt

This applies to thousands of individuals who have acquired loans over the past few years. The number is high because these loans are relatively easy to get and because tuition costs are constantly rising to a level at which the only way for many young people to get their degree is to go into debt. According to information from several sources, the only debt total that’s higher is mortgage debt. This has led many people to begin urging caution when it comes to student loans.

This massive issue brings some serious economic questions to the surface, such as how student borrowers are treated by lenders. For example, you might suggest that a student borrowing to get an education should be held to different terms because getting an education is good for society. From this point of view, a student loan is not the same as borrowing to buy a car or even a house.

Originally posted at: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/student-loan-crisis/