Is a Lack of Financial Literacy Causing Student Loan Trouble?

Phil Ponce’s interview featuring a glimpse into a possible awareness of the student loan crisis shares two crucial points that people are finally beginning to discuss:

  • Financial Literacy in America
  • The held belief that “everyone” must go to college to be successful

Before I decided to skip the traditional 4 year university, I read extensively on the student loan epidemic (that mimics in a small way the mortgage loans), and when it was time for me to take out my loans from Sallie Mae – I read all the fine print.

The Foundation for an Economic Education have made a short video explaining the current student loan trouble; and their solution?


Do not just take what every authority figure has told you before to be successful. Go to your public library, read blogs, join the UnCollege Network, volunteer your time with things YOU like to do, take (or teach) a Skillshare class, take the Zero Tuition College route, read the fine print. No one else will do it for you.

There are so many interesting people that want to help raise awareness and see you succeed. I want to see many more students getting out of the typical path and following blindly into student loans. Did you know that this time last year there was a 7% interest rate on loans to go to school? I did not feel financially literate enough to go through with the 4 year plan. But through self-directed learning I decided to take some time to UnCollege myself and attend the local community college to take courses that interested me.

So what might cause this spiral of debt to stop?

  • Take your education and life into your own hands
  • Question things
  • Take advantage of the resources around you
  • Really think about the college path. Is it really for you?

Hope you’re all living a BellaVie!


6 thoughts on “Is a Lack of Financial Literacy Causing Student Loan Trouble?

  1. I definitely agree that America’s high schools does a poor job at teaching financial literacy to students. I’m not sure how high school curriculums are now (I graduated a few years prior to the financial crisis). My high school had a good selection of AP classes, but none of it taught me about interest rates and debt. I had to go learn it myself.

    • That’s how I felt too. Great AP class selection, wonderful teachers; but I did not feel like I was ready to take out a huge loan to attend university. I know about interest rates and savings and how to budget… But some in depth classes would have been much more helpful at the time.

      • My pleasure. It is important that we not ignore the positive effect that financial literacy and asset building can have on educational outcomes and social mobility – particularly for classes of people that historically have felt helpless. A form of hand-up not handout. And all it takes is a little effort and coordination.


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