NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (8/6/15)--While achieving a college education is part of the American Dream, the cost of earning a college degree is causing many young adults to delay other major life events, according to a new Bankrate Money Pulse survey.
Forty-five percent of Americans with student loans, and 56% of those between 18 and 29, have put off a major life event because of the burden of that debt, Bankrate reported. More than half of student borrowers who were surveyed, and two-thirds of millennials in that group, said they didn't receive enough information or advice about the financial risks.
In the July issue of Credit Union Magazine, Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics, noted that credit unions have a long history of focusing on consumer education and financial consulting.
“We provide provide personalized advice and guidance that make helps people reach their goals and make better personal financial decisions,” Schenk wrote. “And that’s what young people need.”
Challenges for college graduates--debt, a tough job market, slow wage growth--are well documented, Schenk said, but the difficulties for those without college degrees are greater still.
“Today median weekly earnings for college-educated workers are roughly double the norm among those with lower levels of education,” Schenk wrote. “The college wage premium remains near all-time highs.”
Thomas Scanlon, a financial adviser with Raymond James Financial in Manchester, Conn., offered Bankrate a basic approach for younger adults trying to manage student debt.
"Live at home for as long as you and your parents can stand it,” Scanlon said. “I get it; nobody wants to go back and live in their parents' basement. The reality is, with student debt, a car loan, cellphone bill, car insurance and some spending money, most of the paycheck is gone. Live at home and save the rent," he said.
For credit unions, millennials represent an important, financial active segment of their membership, Schenk noted. CUNA’s market research department estimated credit unions served 20.99 million millennials at year-end 2014, up from 19 million at year-end 2013.
“While young people face great challenges in today’s economy, credit unions are helping many rise to those challenges,” Schenk wrote.