A recent study looked at college graduate attitudes regarding debt, and found that for some younger people debt is actually looked at in a positive light. And while for now some of these people may be thinking that their student loan and credit card debt empowers them, in the future those same graduates may find themselves in tough financial situations and challenges due to that debt.
The university study analyzed data that included 3,079 people between the ages of 18 and 34 who had been surveyed in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.
Overall it was found that how graduates felt about debt varied depending on what their family’s income was. For example, those who came from the most affluent families reported that debt had no effect on their feelings of self-worth. However, those graduates coming from families whose income was on the bottom 25 percent of the scale reported that both credit card debt and student loan debt boosted their self-esteem.
For graduates coming from middle class families, having debt because of college costs had no effect on how they felt about themselves, but credit card debt still boosted their self-esteem.
In general, those who felt that having debt was a positive, reported feeling like they were in control and able to achieve the goals they set out for.
When looking at these findings one has to wonder if these feelings of self-worth being tied to debt could end up becoming a real problem for these graduates as they get older. Will they continue to rack up credit card debt? Will they be able to pay off their student loans and make monthly card payments? Will their feelings of empowerment actually turn to stress?
Overall, credit card debt is often cited as a major challenge for people. Instead of feeling in control, many worry that between high interest rates and penalties that they’ll never actually make a dent in all that is owed. However, for those with high amounts of credit card debt, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a number of debt relief solutions that are available to help reduce or eliminate debt.
Source: UPI.com, “College, credit card debt ups self esteem,” 7 June 2011