Can Student Loan Debt Lead to Economic Inequality?

Writing in “We’re Frighteningly in the Dark about Student Debt,” which appeared in today’s issue of The New York Times, Susan Dynarksi explains:

“These loans are no trivial matter — not for the borrowers responsible for them or for the country as a whole. Student loans are now the second-largest source of consumer debt in the United States, surpassed only by home mortgages. In a major reversal, they now constitute a larger portion of household debt than credit cards or car loans.”

Dynarski does not explicitly argue that student debt “causes” or can cause economic inequality; however, her article does imply that, over time, inequalities can result from carrying student debt for 30 or so years.

What Dynarski does call for, though, is studying the debt and its consequences. Apparently, no federal agency has taken on this task.


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