Credit and debit management among UW-Stout students: practices and implications
Sam, Katie A.
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Research Services
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For many Americans today, debt has become a part of life; this is especially true for college students because of the rising costs of higher education. Student loan debt was held by 70% of 2012 graduates according to Reed and Cochrane (2013), averaging $29,400 worth of debt per graduate. But student loan debt isn’t the only form of debt that graduates hold; credit card debt is also growing. The average undergraduate credit card balance according to the 2009 Sallie Mae study was $3,171. With student loans, credit cards, and other loans, students are graduating with more debt than ever before. The cause of this problem is twofold; higher education costs are rising, but students are also engaging in poor credit management practices. These practices are worrisome because they impact the entire economy’s health. Korkki (2014) cited a Federal Reserve Bank study indicating that since the recession, overall homeownership among 30-year-olds has decreased, but most significantly among those with student loan debt history. Not only did Korkki report that the high debt levels impact the housing market, but there appears to be a negative correlation between small business startups and student loan debt. In this study conducted among students at the UW-Stout, we analyzed current credit and debt management practices among students, as well as their understanding of basic credit terms and applications. Compared to national studies, students at UW-Stout don’t engage in as risky of credit practices, but still lack the fundamental knowledge to engage in wise credit practices.
Research article with graphs and tables.
Sam, K. A. (2015). Credit and debit management among UW-Stout students: practices and implications. University of Wisconsin-Stout Journal of Student Research, 14, 81-96.