Does borrowing give you confidence?

What do you think of this new study's findings?Last week Barbara shared this article with me, and I have to say, it made my jaw drop.

In a nutshell, a new study is showing that young adults are feeling empowered by their credit card and education debt. The study reveals that the more credit card and education debt held by these 18-27 year olds, the higher their self-esteem and the more they felt in-control of their lives. The kicker? These feelings were the strongest among those in the lowest economic class.

I’m surprised because I felt the exact opposite way in college. I was getting by on a patchwork of loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study. “In-control” was hardly how I would have described my feelings—slightly panicked and wholly focused on finishing in four years is more like it. I had no credit card debt to speak of (which wasn’t uncommon in the early 1990s).

And I have to say, back then most of my friends who were borrowing money for college felt the same way I did.

Another interesting finding is that the oldest of those in the study (age 28-34) were the only ones who were beginning to show some stress about their debt levels. Again, this is the opposite of how things went for me. By my late 20s, I was feeling very relaxed and confident about my ability to pay off my loans. I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel by then, and my earning power was increasing.

So, what gives? What do you think about this study? Can you relate?

Caroline Hanson

About Caroline Hanson

Caroline is a communications consultant for Wells Fargo Education Financial Services. Although she has been known to forget her own ZIP code, she has memorized the lyrics to every bad 1970s pop song ever written. Unfortunately, she also loves karaoke. Caroline spends her spare time at Target®. She also likes biking slowly and has participated in RAGBRAI. Caroline is a graduate of Iowa State University and has worked in journalism and public relations for the past 14 years. She lives in Iowa with her husband and has a 19-year-old stepdaughter and 2-year-old son.
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2 Responses to Does borrowing give you confidence?

  1. Anonymous says:

    In a sense, it’s not surprising. People tend to buy things to make themselves feel better. And when they’re relatively young, it makes sense that the realization of having such debt hasn’t fully sunk in. Wait until they’re on year six of trying to pay down a maxed out credit card and then see how they’re self esteem is.

The Student LoanDown

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