New reforms in the student loan industry after the passage of Obamacare have credit risks among young adults much more common. Included in the Affordable Healthcare Act was a clause that allowed students to sign off on major loans without a co-sign from a parent or guardian. Without parents cosigning with their children on loans, it is up to the student to make the payments on time and be able to pay off their own student loan debt. This has resulted in massive amounts of extra loans being taken out under the students with increasing cases of non-payment.
Very few people saw the housing bubble coming, but countless economists and pundits are sounding the alarm about the upcoming student loan bubble bursting. Despite the poor governmental policy, there is always an underlying cultural aspect that we must challenge in regards to higher education. There is still a belief in the US that everyone must go to a four year university in order to be successful. This thought process is rooted in the same perverse belief as “everyone must own a home to live the American way of life.”
Make no mistake, the government created the housing bubble, just as it has created the student loan bubble. But we can’t ignore the fact that our culture has been pushing college beyond its limits the past 30 years. If we continue to fuel this idea that college is a mandatory right of passage, the bubble will only continue to get bigger, until it finally pops.
We lived through the perils of 2008. It is never pretty when a bubble bursts. But imagine being back in 2006 and knowing the bubble was coming. It is becoming more accepted that higher education is approaching a crossroads, and if we don’t approach this head on, we will live 2008, all over again.