If you're in church leadership, odds are good that you've carried some level of student debt in your lifetime. But if you're older than the current college/career generation, odds are also good that you can't quite understand the pervasive culture of heavy debt that has come to characterize the experience of young adults. Here are some numbers to put it in perspective.
From Pew Research:
"Student debt burdens are weighing on the economic fortunes of younger Americans, as households headed by young adults owing student debt lag far behind their peers in terms of wealth accumulation, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. About four-in-ten U.S. households (37%) headed by an adult younger than 40 currently have some student debt—the highest share on record, with the median outstanding student debt load standing at about $13,000 … .
Among the young and college educated, the typical total indebtedness (including mortgage debt, vehicle debt and credit cards, as well as student debt) of student debtor households ($137,010) is almost twice the overall debt load of similar households with no student debt ($73,250). Among less-educated households, the total debt load of student debtors ($28,300) is more than ten times that of similar households not owing student debt ($2,500)."
Dramatically impacting quality of life, giving and generosity, career and calling opportunities, and much more, this is a pastoral issue felt in the hearts—and wallets—of adults in your community. How will you respond?
Kevin Miller's "Raising Money from Millennials" tackles the issue as it relates to generosity head on, with pastoral, practical advice.
Copyright © 2014 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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