Millennials are the first generation to be handcuffed by insane levels of student debt. What we have done to this generation is shameful. The fact that there is now over 1.5 trillion in student loans, two-thirds of which is sitting on the back of women is wrong. This never should have happened. It happened because the government got into the student lending business, and it allowed the education system to keep spending money unchecked allowing the cost of an education to skyrocket.
Most Universities have seen there annual costs increase by 400% in thirty years. Trust me the education has not become 400% more valuable. If anything it is less valuable.
So today you average college educated young person gets out of school with $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 or more in debt. I have seen and meet personally with many who have six figures in student loans. And these poor souls are in their twenties!
And to make matters worse you can’t get away from this debt. EVER. You can’t even go bankrupt and get away from it.
So what is happening is that many young people burden by debt feel hopeless.
This is exactly how Zoey Daniels the main character in my new book The Latte Factor feels at the beginning of the book . She’s drowning in student loans and living paycheck to paycheck in New York City after working for six years and getting raises. She wonders if there’s ever going to be light at the end of the tunnel.
And then one day she meets a mentor named Henry that teachers her there is a way out of this debt and an opportunity for her to afford her dreams.
My hope is that his little story will give millions of millennials hope for a better future.
We can’t have an entire generation afraid to invest or buy a home until their debts are paid off or we will have an entire generation left behind. This generation is over 75 million large.
The good news is this generation is SMART and they are taking charge and dealing with the challenge. 1 in 6 millennials now has over $100,000 in investments. Millions are saving and investing on a regular basis, savings money automatically, using their 401k plans and living below their means.
Don’t buy into the millennial slacker myth – this generation is on it. They have just been forced to start in a hole of debt they shouldn’t have had to begin with.
Originally published on Quora.
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