How student loan debt affected how we dealt with money in 2017 💵
The source of stress. Source: Pixabay

The US economy is picking up again, with this year seeing a steady growth of jobs. And while the general economic outlook looks good, American students do not seem to be reaping the benefits.

According to Wall Street Journal, there are nearly 4.6 million student loan defaulters – defined by the government as those who haven’t made a payment in at least a year – in the third quarter, twice the figure from four years ago, citing Education Department data released Tuesday.

The data speaks of a student community beset by a student loan crisis that does not look like it will be resolved anytime soon. Naturally, this plays a huge role in how students go about their daily lives, particularly how they sort their finances out.

Diggingthough is prominent education loan lender College Ave Student Loans, which ran a recent survey of 1,000 US adults aged 18 and up to find out about their financial goals and the tax impact student loan debt has on individuals.

Here’s what they found

1. Most are staying careful with their money

The end of year is a time of bonuses or cash gifts to splurge during the holiday reason. However, respondents report being financially conservative over how they spend this extra money, with only 1 out of 10 (14.6 percent) saying they would spend it.

What most would rather do is to build an emergency fund and pay down consumer debt.

2. Student loan debt is affecting big life choices 

With close to half (49 percent) saying student loan debt is the most stressful debt to owe, it comes as no surprise that it is thwarting other big life choices from being made.

Around 4 out of 10 (42.9 percent) said having a student loan debt affects their home ownership, though it is interesting to note that half (50.5 percent) said student loan debt does not affect their retirement goals.

3. 2018 is the year to make more money

The side hustle grows ever more urgent by 2018 as the top three financial goals for respondents next year are: Earning extra income, building an emergency fund, and saving for retirement rank.

“The College Ave Student Loans survey highlights that people are focused on building a stronger sense of financial security by increasing their income and overall savings,” stated College Ave Student Loans CEO Joe DePaulo.

“However, a strong financial plan for 2018 includes a good financial balance – saving, increasing your income, and paying down debt.”

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